I Can Wait

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Oscar Wilde’s After-Dinner Rebuke to his Press Critics

Yesterday was December 27th, the date on which Oscar Wilde set sail from New York to conclude his 12-months stay in America.

So as the year ends, it seems appropriate to examine how Oscar might have reflected on his lecture tour, no doubt weighing the risk he had taken with his literary reputation for the sake of financial gain. In particular, to what extent the  ridicule of the press affected his personal appraisal of the tour.

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A Scene at Long Beach

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The intrigue that followed a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde in 1882

A young girl whom Oscar Wilde met on vacation in 1882 became the lover of Wilde’s future niece and also had an affair with Wilde’s own lover’s future wife.

Confused? Then read on.

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Sam Ward, also seated in the above illustration.

It all began when Sam Ward, the author, gourmand and political lobbyist who had taken Wilde under his wing in America, invited him to Long Beach, the seaside resort on Long Island, New York.

After the holiday, on July 31, 1882, Ward wrote to his niece Maud Howe [1]:

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