The Rarer Oscar

LESSER KNOWN IMAGES RELATED TO OSCAR WILDE
Oscar in profile. Compare to pictures in The Wilde Album, p.57.


llustration accompanying an article by Arthur Cravan in the US magazine The Soil, 1917.

Memories Of The-90s, by Kenneth-Frazier (1867–1949). Oscar seated left.
Others include Verlaine, Conder, Rothenstein, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, and Whistler.

(L-R) George Meredith, Jean Palmer, and Oscar Wilde.

‘A Dream of Decadence on the Cherwell’
Oscar and Bosie caricatured in The New Rattle (Oxford) May, 1893.


From Lika Joko, Harry Furniss’s illustrated weekly, Feb. 23, 1895.

Stephen Fry as Oscar in a 1992 CBS TV mini-series The Adventures of Ned Blessing.

Oscar-Wilde au cabaret, Rue-de Dunkerque. Sketch by Jean Matet (1870-1936).

Oscar at back centre-left.

Cyril Wilde.

Pencil drawing of Oscar Wilde. Inscribed Charles Serret, Janvier 1880.

Caricature. The Judge (magazine) New York, Vol. 1, No. 25. April 15, 1882.

Wilde at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo in October 1878.

Typescript of De Profundis prepared by Ross for Ransome’s lawyer in re: Douglas, 1913.

From the pamphlet Ye Soul Agonies in ye life of Oscar Wilde, 1882.
[Charles Kendrick,]


Oscar Wilde. Etching, 1907. Hermann Struck (1876-1944).

Yours Oscar Wilde. Magdalen 1878.

Yours Oscar Wilde.

The statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome—without Oscar!

The last page of July 1980 Lippincott’s Monthly containing The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Hosky’s letter to Bouncer (William Ward), March 20, 1876.
[Complete Letters, p. 14.]
A gathering at Magdalen with Hunter Blair and William Ward, 21st June 1876.
[Library of Congress, Kaufmann Collection.]
College days.

One of the Tobin collection of black-face cartoons from 1882.

Cartoon showing Wilde as a charlatan aesthete where even his hair is a an impostor..

Our Captious Critic.
[Courtesy Jissen Women’s University]

A familiar image in Greek costume but rarely seen mounted as a cabinet card.

The eccentric Wilde coupled with Charles Guiteau who had assassinated President Garfield.
The Judge (1882).

Programme from the first Saturday of An Ideal Husband, 1895, with a rarely seen ticket.

A mysterious address in Wilde’s hand.
[Autograph manuscript notebook, Philadelphia Free Library]

Watercolor by a young Oscar of Devenish Island in Lough Erne, near Portora Royal School.
[Location identified by Heather White, The Wildean 54, p.3.]

Original of the Kelly Sketch.
[Courtesy Trinity College Library, Julia Rosenthal Oscar Wilde Collection]

The Author of Lady Windermere’s Fan.

A rare positive negative from the Sarony photographs.

Part of the façade of the destroyed church of San Michele at Lucca, 1845. by John Ruskin.

Bosie aged 5.

Page from a large booklet commissioned by Rupert Everett for The Happy Prince (2018).
A Special Edition of the German publication The Manipulator containing production stills, an article by Merlin Holland, the text of The Happy Prince, The Dead Poet, and related letters alongside associated imagery.
Publicity still for The Happy Prince (2018).
[Sony Pictures Classics].

Wilde’s alias calling card.

Wilde’s funeral leaflet.

Wilde’s monument in transit.

NOT Oscar Wilde — or is it?

My cat, Oscar.

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).

15 thoughts on “The Rarer Oscar”

  1. Many thanks for these – I’m pretty sure some of these have never been published anywhere before, particularly the first, fourth and ninth (is that Portora Royal School?). It’s a shame the image resolution of the fourth and ninth is quite low – are you able to reveal your sources?

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    1. One or two of these (incl. number 9) are screen captures from documentaries which, unforgivably, I can’t immediately recall.

      The fourth is a crop of one from the Palmer garden party September 1892; I am aware of seven of this series: the four in the Wilde Album (pp. 130-133) and three others for which I have digital copies. qv. Visitors Book and House.

      The first is very striking and came to the attention of the Oscar Wilde Society recently: all that the owner knows is that his father bought it from a bookshop in London in the mid-1990s. The verso indicates the studio was Window and Grove.

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  2. Thanks for these images, John. There’s another anomalous address written at the top of p. 11 recto of the manuscript of Oscar Wilde’s Historical Criticism Notebook: 18 Crawshay Rd. / Holloway.

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    1. Hi Philip, maybe John has already taken a look at this but I thought I’d chip in: I looked up who was at 18 Crawshay Rd (as per your note in the HCN I only found a Brixton address) and found a John Elkington in 1878. By 1880 he appears to have moved on as there were two women living there by the names of Carroll and Puttfarcken. I couldn’t find any John Elkington in the census who seems like someone Wilde would have been in contact with. So, not really an answer to the mystery but I thought it was worth recording how far I was able to get.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Extremely amusing and instructive to see how manifold the images are that can still be discovered of OW and his family, friends and circle that show that what is ritually reissued is only a fragment of what can actually be seen.

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      1. A photo of my great grandfather when he was young has a resemblance too. Fun fact he composed music for the first act of The Importance of Being Earnest for a charity in 1895.

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  4. I need to make an amendment now that I’ve found the newspaper article. John Charles Bond-Andrews was my great great grandfather and the benefit concert was for the widow of Henry Herman. The article was in The Era and it was dated March 16,1895: “Henry Herman Benefit Matinee Under the Patronage of the Savage Club A Benefit Matinee in Aid of the Widow of the Late Henry Herman Author and Dramatist, will be given at the St. James Theatre on Monday, March 25th, 1895 Mr. George Alexander has generously lent his Theatre for the occasion, and with the St. James Theatre Company will play an Act of The Importance of Being Earnest Mr. Robert V. Shore has kindly undertaken the Business Management. The Honorary Treasurer is E. Ledger, Esq. A large Number of the leading Members of the Dramatic and Musical Profession have kindly promised their Services. Accompanists, Bond Andrews, E.Bending, W.Hitchcock, H. Parker, H.G. Wood. Stage Managers, Messrs. H.H. Vincent and Hugh Moss. Musical Director, Mr. Walter Slaughter.” My ancestor received much praise from newspapers from the period and was featured in The Era numerous times.

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