Oscar Wilde In America

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



Grand Opera House

Sunday, June 11, 1882

The House Beautiful


Newspaper report

The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 12, 1882, 8

This report goes on to describe Wilde's laid back posture as an "I'm-ready-to-dodge-any-defunct-feline-or-unsavory-hen-fruit-that-may-be-shied-at-me attitude".

The Marion Star, June 13, 1882, 4

The Milan Exchange, June 17, 1882, 4


Grand Opera House (formerly Mozart Hall)

Vine and Longworth Streets, Cincinnati, OH

Built: 1853 (as the Catholic Institute)

Seating capacity: c. 2,000

Destroyed (fire): January 22, 1901


‍Burnet ‍House

‍NW ‍corner ‍of ‍Third ‍and ‍Vine ‍Streets, ‍Cincinnati, ‍OH

‍Built: ‍1849

‍Opened: ‍May ‍30, ‍1850

‍Rooms: ‍c. ‍300

‍Closed ‍and ‍demolished: ‍July ‍15, ‍1926

‍Wilde ‍stayed ‍at ‍the ‍Burnet ‍House ‍on ‍the ‍eve ‍of ‍his ‍lecture. ‍However, ‍it ‍is ‍unlikely ‍he ‍remained ‍there ‍a ‍second ‍night ‍as ‍he ‍was ‍in ‍Memphis, ‍TN ‍the ‍next ‍day ‍to ‍begin ‍the ‍Southern ‍leg ‍of ‍his ‍lecture ‍tour. ‍This ‍would ‍also ‍explain ‍why ‍his ‍lecture ‍was ‍a ‍matinee: ‍to ‍give ‍him ‍time ‍to ‍catch ‍an ‍overnight ‍train.

‍For ‍more ‍on ‍the ‍Burnet ‍House ‍see ‍Wilde's ‍lecture ‍in ‍Cincinnati ‍on ‍February ‍23, ‍1882.


Advertising poster for the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Patience that parodied Wilde and the aesthetic movement. 

Published in Cincinnati, where Wilde was lecturing.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020