It has long been assumed that all of the 1882 photographs of Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony were taken during the same visit to his studio. Indeed, in all of Wilde studies there does not appear to be any record of an assertion to the contrary. However, there is a convincing case to be made that the LAST FOUR photographs were taken at a later date.
In a recent article I established the literary source for the cello coat worn by Oscar Wilde at the Grosvenor Gallery. However, I left it open to interpretation whether Wilde actually did have such a coat tailored or, perhaps, just happened to have one like it. After all, there was only one report of the “cello” shape.
However, we can now be definitive.
Further research allows us to make the coat story complete—although, as we shall see, the archaic variant word compleat would make for a better fit.
It is rare that an important contribution by a major author goes unrecorded. Rarer still if the author is Oscar Wilde, the famous poet, writer, dramatist, and much quoted wit, who has been the subject of continual interest and analysis since his death in 1900. But such has been the fate of his 1885 essay The Philosophy Of Dress.
This work now forms the centerpiece of a unique collection of Wilde’s writings on dress and fashion. In the book, in addition to the essay, there are generously annotated and illustrated chapters that analyze the importance of dress to Wilde’s writing career, and a comprehensive review of the influences, trends, characters, and source material that informed his dress philosophy. As a compendium this book includes several period articles and letters by Wilde on dress and fashion, along with related, but rarely published, correspondence.
This first printing of the First Edition is limited to 100 copies and is expected to sell out on general release.