Oscar Wilde In America


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

Sioux City

Iowa


Academy of Music

Monday, March 20, 1882


The Decorative Arts

Verification

Newspaper report

The Inter Ocean, (Chicago, IL), March 25, 1882, p.9

The Topeka Daily Capital, April 21, 1882, 8


Book

Lloyd Lewis and Henry Justin Smith, Oscar Wilde Discovers America: 1882, 1936, pp. 226-7


"a reporter from the Sioux City Journal called at his room at the Hubbard House"


"Wilde spoke on March 20th at the Academy of Music"


L&S's account is interspersed with verbatim quotes taken from the Sioux City Journal [1,2], and the references to Wilde's lecture venue and accommodation clearly read as taken from the same source. Thus the verification can be deemed as the reporting of a primary source.


[1] The Journal of March 20 reported Wilde in interview as follows:


"His demeanor is ladylike. He occasionally moistened his wrists in a preoccupied way with perfume from a tiny flat vial. His large, liquid eyes rolled upwards at times as he became interested, something as a schoolgirl's when she speaks to an intimate friend of her latest love affair."


[2] The Journal of March 21 reported Wilde's lecture as follows:


"spiritless namby-pamby nondescript"


"a caricature on robust manhood"


It can be concluded that for one midwest newspaper at least, Wilde's effete manner, whether natural or affected, was approximately a century ahead of its time.

Venue


Academy of Music

Pierce and Douglas Streets on the south side of Fourth Street, Sioux City, IA


Built: 1870 (H.O. Ball)

Constructed by: Sharp and Beck

Seating: 800

Demolished: 1910


Accommodation


Hubbard House

Northeast corner of 4th and Pierce Streets, Sioux City, IA


Built: 1870

Renamed: Hotel Booge, 1887

Renamed: Hotel Mondamin, 1895

Destroyed (fire): 1912

Replaced by: Martin Hotel on the same site (extant as an apartment building)

Ephemera


CANYONS AND COYOTES

Oscar Wilde wrote this from Sioux City, IA. 


Source: The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis, London: Fourth Estate; New York: Henry Holt, 2000.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020