LESSER KNOWN IMAGES RELATED TO OSCAR WILDE
Continue reading The Rarer Oscar
There is a pleasing symmetry in the idea of the flamboyant Napoleon Sarony photographing Oscar Wilde because they were both specialists in posing—albeit from opposing ends of the camera. So it is not surprising that they also had parallel views about it.Continue reading The Rest Is History
Apologies for the hiatus from writing articles for this blog while I took time out to attend to two parallel projects.
First is my historical archive which was in need of an update to latest web standards and to address improvements to usability. Click on this link to Oscar Wilde In America to visit the new site.
Also the interim I contributed a major article to the latest edition of the academic journal The Wildean, the flagship publication of the Oscar Wilde Society. The article featured for the time ever in print all known photographs of Oscar Wilde taken by Napoleon Sarony in 1882 and 1883, as well as correcting existing and supplemented much new information about them. You can obtain copies of the journal from the Oscar Wilde Society here.
The signature image of the web site has been W.B. Richmond’s ”Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon” (1874) shown at the top of this page—a work that Wilde had described in detail in his review of its showing at the Grosvenor Gallery in London .
The painting was the inspiration for a cartoon used as a centerpiece to a fake interview with Wilde in Punch magazine, the purpose of which was to ridicule the Aesthetic Movement that Wilde went to America to espouse. It depicts the Greek goddess Ariadne representing the grief of Aestheticism as she watches Wilde depart aboard the ship Arizona.
More on the web site here about ARIADNE IN NAXOS.
The web site upgrade is timely as it comes at conclusion of a ten year project of verifying and documenting Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour, which I shall feature in a separate blog article in the new year.
Please visit the site and let me know of any errata. There are bound to be many as I have only one pair of eyes.
© John Cooper, December 2019
 “The Grosvenor Gallery” Dublin University Magazine, 90, July 1877, 118-26.
Oscar Wilde was 27 years of age when left England for America on board the S.S. Arizona. By the time he reached New York eight days later he was 26—this being the age he insisted upon in press interviews. 
A simple mistake for anyone to make who was awful at arithmetic or a victim to vanity; but it takes a declared genius to incorporate the error years later into his works, as we shall see.Continue reading Twenty-seven
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.
Here is an idle curiosity.
When Oscar Wilde had this photograph taken by Napoleon Sarony in 1882, not only was he standing against the same wall that Sarah Bernhardt had stood against—but he was standing in EXACTLY the same spot.Continue reading Same Difference