November 30


The excerpt below is from Current Literature—a journal of the Current Literature Publishing Co. (New York) which published monthly periodicals from 1888 to 1912.

This account is from an article in the October 1905 edition entitled “How Oscar Wilde Died” which was given to deny claims in a earlier issue that Oscar was still alive. Its source was the Paris correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt.



A shorter version of this account was given, without source, two years later in Oscar Wilde by Leonard Cresswell Ingleby, who explained:

“If I have quoted this ugly and vulgar picture of the poet’s body in the sordid room I have done so with intention.

It is in the contemplation of such scenes as this that our minds and hearts are uplifted from the material to the supreme hope of all of us. The man who had suffered and sinned and done noble things in this world had gone away from it. Doubtless, when the Frenchman with his prying eyes and notebook was gloating over the material sensation of the scene, the soul of the poet was hearing harmonies too long unknown to it, and was beginning to undergo the Purification. Requiescat.”



How Oscar Wilde Died (Current Literature)

Oscar Wilde by Leonard Cresswell Ingleby (1905)

Jean Joseph-Renaud (1873 – 1953)

Robert Ross’s moving letter to More Adey about the circumstances of Wilde last days.

Below the notice of Wilde’s death, with several inaccuracies,  from the New York Times, Saturday December 1, 1900, page 1.


Published by

John Cooper

John Cooper is a independent scholar who has spent 30 years in the study of Oscar Wilde. He is a long-standing member of the Oscar Wilde Society, a founding member of the Oscar Wilde Society of America, and a former manager of the Victorian Society In America. For the last 20 years Cooper has specialised in Wilde’s 1882 lecture tour becoming a consultant on Wilde’s American experience to biographers and the wider media. Cooper lectures on Wilde and has conducted new and unique research into Oscar Wilde visits to New York culminating in a guided walking tour. Online he is a popular blogger and the creator of the noncommercial archive 'Oscar Wilde in America’ which incorporates his work on the Sarony photographs, and a detailed documentary verification of Wilde’s American lecture tour. In 2012 Cooper rediscovered Wilde's essay The Philosophy Of Dress that forms the centerpiece to his book Oscar Wilde On Dress (2013).

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