Oscar Wilde In America


DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America

Wilmington

North Carolina


Opera House

Saturday, July 8, 1882


The Decorative Arts

Verification


Newspaper reports

The Daily Review, (Wilmington, NC), July 9, 1882, 4

The Morning Star, (Wilmington, NC), July 9, 1882, 1


* Not Wilmington, DE, as recorded in previous itineraries.


Newspaper advertisement

The Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), July 6, 1882, 1

Venue


Opera House

Corner of Third and Princess Streets, Wilmington, NC (now 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC 28401)


Built: 1855-1858 (John Montague Trimble, architect)

Design: a multi-use building to house the town government, the library, and an auditorium known as Thalian Hall

Opened: April, 1858

Seating capacity: 1000 increasing to 1600

Name changed: 1867: the Opera House

Name changed: c. 1909: Academy of Music

Restored: 1973-75

Expanded: 1988-90

Today: a performing arts complex known again as Thalian Hall

Accommodation


Purcell House

Front Street, between Market and Princess Streets, Wilmington, NC

Menu 1881

Ephemera


The Daily Review (Wilmington, NC), July 11, 1882, 1

Biographical Note


Charles Manly Stedman who dined with Wilde in Wilmington had served in the 44th North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War on the Confederate side, and was a 41 year-old lawyer when he met Wilde. He became a long-serving Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's 5th district, and carried his memories of Wilde well into the new century: he died in 1930, aged 89.


Not to be confused with Edmund Clarence Stedman, the Connecticut poet and critic who had snubbed Wilde while working as a journalist in New York.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020