—A Flagship Project—
These pages document for the first time a detailed, comprehensive, and accurate record of all the dates, venues, and subjects of Oscar Wilde’s 1882 lecture tour of North America.
Wilde conducted some 141 lectures over 11 months of 1882 and each has its own page beginning with the first lecture in New York City.
Each lecture is supported by details of the date, location, and subject, along with with related ephemera—the standard being that all information is verified by a supporting primary source.
Previously Published Itineraries
Wilde scholars are fortunate in having a wealth of prior scholarship. There have been four major published versions to date, contained in the following works:
Mikhail, E. H., ed. Oscar Wilde: Interviews and Recollections. 2 vols. London: MacMillan, 1979.
Ellmann, Richard.Oscar Wilde.London: Hamish Hamilton; New York: Knopf, 1987.
Page, Norman.An Oscar Wilde Chronology.Houndmills: MacMillian; Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991. [re-prints and credits Ellmann but differs in two respects]
Beckson, Karl E., ed.The Oscar Wilde Encyclopedia. New York: AMS Press, 1998.
Unfortunately, none of these previous itineraries agrees with any other and each is wrong in several respects. Therefore, in addition to the verified list, there is a side-by-side comparison list to demonstrate the evolution of scholarship and as a frame of reference.
Each lecture has its own page dedicated to verifying and illustrating each lecture. Use the calendar menu at the top of each page in this section.
Go to the first lecture and scroll through page-by-page.
View the master list in chronological order.
Owing to generic advertising at the time, and creative history since, there has been confusion about the subjects covered by Wilde in his various lectures, first in America and later in the UK and Ireland where he continued lecturing after his return.
These pages clarify the evolution of OscarWilde’s various lecture subjects:
This web site was created by John Cooper based on 30 years of private study and countless hours in libraries and online since 2002. He is solely responsible for all original research, writing, editing, and web design.
The site has been used by scholars, institutions, and the media around the world and is the largest online resource on the life and times of Oscar Wilde in America.
The entire project was created without funding, and is freely provided and noncommercial.