The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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North Carolina

Opera House

Saturday, July 8, 1882

The Decorative Arts


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


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

Menu 1881


Purcell House

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


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.

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024