Wildeans will already be suspicious of this article’s titular double entendres, however, lest there be any misunderstanding about the direction of our story, we shall spare you any possible disappointment, or as the flirtatious Gwendolen might say: Lincoln is not Abe, nor is it a name that produces any vibrations.
Instead, Lincoln and the Adult Novelty Store, in keeping with the theme of this blog, is a historical detective story about Oscar Wilde.
In verifying Wilde’s tour of America I have reached Nebraska.
The first task when examining Wilde’s tour stops is to establish the location for his lectures. In this case, it is the lecture which took place on April 24, 1882 in the city of—I sense you anticipate me—Lincoln, the state capital of Nebraska.
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How the effeminate Oscar Wilde was likened to women in 1882
During his lecture tour of America in 1882, Oscar Wilde was often described in interviews and articles as effeminate.
It has often been thought that Oscar was acting the part of the effeminate; certainly, he was playing up to it: his dress and manner coinciding with the “namby-pamby” image of Bunthorne from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience that preceded him.
But, given our knowledge that Wilde continued to display the same effeminate sensitivities throughout his life, how much of his 1882 pose was an act?
Perhaps rather than his being landed with an effeminate role, Wilde gravitated towards it.
Indeed, he portrayed his role so convincingly that, as we shall discover, the ever-anticipatory Wilde was conceptualized as female.
Continue reading Doubtful as Men