Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience… Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, full-length portrait, facing right, sitting in chair, right hand on cheek, left hand holding book. Exhibited in "Oscar Wilde: the Apostle of Beauty, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, 1999.

Oscar Wilde, full-length portrait, facing right, sitting in chair, right hand on cheek, left hand holding book. Exhibited in “Oscar Wilde: the Apostle of Beauty, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, 1999.

Star-Spangled Eden: 19th Century America Through the Eyes of Dickens, Wilde, Frances Trollope, Frank Harris and Other British Travelers James C. Simmons New York : Carroll & Graf, 2000 Hardcover. 1st Carroll & Graf ed. xi, 350 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 337-344) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Oscar Wilde on our cast-iron stoves. Another American institution sat down on / Thomas Nast.

Oscar Wilde on our cast-iron stoves. Another American institution sat down on / Thomas Nast.

In the fifty years from 1830 to 1880, out of the rowdy optimism of the Jacksonian era and the tragic ruptures of the Civil War, America transformed itself into a modern nation. Within those five decades its frontier, a continent wide and wild, disappeared, but not before it had been experienced by British travelers as varied as Charles Dickens, whose “quarrel with America” assumed epic proportions, and Oscar Wilde, who fell wittily in love with the young country’s vitality and diversity.

Two portraits of Oscar Wilde, titled "Let me tell you the reason why we love the lily and the sunflower", and "Satire is the romance whic ignorance pays to genius".

Two portraits of Oscar Wilde, titled “Let me tell you the reason why we love the lily and the sunflower”, and “Satire is the romance whic ignorance pays to genius”.

This illuminating social and political history also includes accounts of the visits made by Frances Trollope, whose acid tome on barbarous Cincinnati made her a London literary sensation in 1832, and the celebrated English actress Fanny Kemble, whose two years on a Georgia plantation made her a confirmed abolitionist. Equally revelatory are the 1846 visit to the Colorado Territory, then a pristine wilderness, by George Ruxton and, only fourteen years later, Richard Burton’s stagecoach ride across the Great Plains, where the buffalo had by then virtually disappeared.

Print shows Oscar Wilde as an African American dandy wooing an African American woman leaning over a wash tub and wash board; he is presenting her a large sunflower, as another African American woman, in the background, dreamily observes.

Print shows Oscar Wilde as an African American dandy wooing an African American woman leaning over a wash tub and wash board; he is presenting her a large sunflower, as another African American woman, in the background, dreamily observes.

In bold narrative style, the book also follows William Howard Russell, the London Times correspondent who covered the outbreak of the Civil War, and chronicles the colorful adventures of Frank Harris as a real-life Texas cowboy. Like all, his amazing tale casts yet another light on the possibilities of this colossus aborning.

Oscar the apostle. Puck's "Wilde" dream of an aesthetic future for America / F. Opper. Cartoon showing Oscar Wilde, with people and things dealing with aesthetics.

Oscar the apostle. Puck’s “Wilde” dream of an aesthetic future for America / F. Opper. Cartoon showing Oscar Wilde, with people and things dealing with aesthetics.

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It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere… Agnes Repplier

“In the Virginia hunt country just outside of Charlottesville, where I live, the older people still tell stories of a strange couple who died some two generations ago. The stories involve ghosts, the mysterious burning of a church, a murder at a millionaire’s house, a sensational lunacy trial, and a beautiful, scantily clad young woman prowling her gardens at night as if she were searching for something or someone — or trying to walk off the effects of the morphine that was deranging her. I was inclined to dismiss all of this as tall tales Virginians love to spin out; but when I looked into these yarns I found proof that they were true. . . .” from the preface

The humbug!--and called himself my best friend at college. Published in: "The Mocking of the Gods" by Amelie Rives, Harper's magazine, 106:125 (Dec. 1902).

The humbug!–and called himself my best friend at college. Published in: “The Mocking of the Gods” by Amelie Rives, Harper’s magazine, 106:125 (Dec. 1902).

He was the author of two works, Four years behind the bars of “Bloomingdale;” or the bankruptcy of laws in New York and Chanler against Sherman, both published in 1906 the latter of which gave rise to his third credit at the Library of Congress, John Armstrong Chaloner, plaintiff-in-error, against Thomas T. Sherman, defendant-in-error. Brief of plaintiff-in-error, published in 1916 which is a copy of the record of an appeal against the efforts to have Chaloner declared insane under the New York statutes of the day. Amelie Rives was the more prolific author having produced a larger collection of fiction and poetry [including an atrocious imitation of Robert Burns] – some of them under the nom-de-plume of Princess Troubetzkoy after  she divorced her  Chanler, then married Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy –  some of which are currently available as reprints. In point of fact they were both called authors not because they made a living with their pens nor because they produced deathless prose but merely because they didn’t do anything else – well nothing else that could be explicitly detailed as a profession.

And so this is your friendship for my husband. Published in: "The Mocking of the Gods" by Amelie Rives, Harper's magazine, 106:285 (Jan. 1903).

And so this is your friendship for my husband. Published in: “The Mocking of the Gods” by Amelie Rives, Harper’s magazine, 106:285 (Jan. 1903).

This book is the equivalent of a literary exercise in voyeurism and while it is written in a charming style we just can not bring ourselves to approve of it. Better written than a tabloid, more tastefully done than a television show of the same genre you will still come away from the experience as edified as if you had spent an hour exchanging scurrilous gossip – enjoy!

Archie and Amelie: love and madness in the Gilded Age New York Harmony Books, c 2006 Donna M. Lucey Chaloner, John Armstrong, 1862-1935, Novelists, American 19th century Biography, Rives, Amelie, 1863-1945 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. vii, 339 p., [8] p. of plates: ill., geneal. tables; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 312-320) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

I knew you would see me. Published in: "The Mocking of the Gods" by Amelie Rives, Harper's magazine, 106:287 (Jan. 1903).

I knew you would see me. Published in: “The Mocking of the Gods” by Amelie Rives, Harper’s magazine, 106:287 (Jan. 1903).

John Armstrong Chanler — known as Archie to his family — was an heir to the Astor fortune, an eccentric, dashing, and handsome millionaire. Amelie Rives, from a Southern family and the god-daughter of Robert E. Lee, was a daring author, a stunning temptress, and a woman ahead of her time. Filled with glamour, mystery, and madness, their love affair and marriage made them the talk of society in the Gilded Age.

Archie and Amelie seemed made for each other — both were passionate, intense, and driven by emotion — but the very things that brought them together would soon draw them apart. Their marriage began with a “secret” wedding that found its way onto the front page of the New York Times, to the dismay of Archie’s relatives and Amelie’s many gentleman friends. To the world, the couple appeared charmed, rich, and famous; they moved in social circles that included Oscar Wilde, Teddy Roosevelt, and Stanford White. But although their love was undeniable, they tormented each other, and their private life was troubled from the start.

There, Tim, run along and tell Joe to saddle the Rion Colt. Published in: "Trix and Over-the-Moon" by Amelie Rives, Harper's magazine, 119:414 (Aug. 1909).

There, Tim, run along and tell Joe to saddle the Rion Colt. Published in: “Trix and Over-the-Moon” by Amelie Rives, Harper’s magazine, 119:414 (Aug. 1909).

They were the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald of their day — a celebrated couple too dramatic and unconventional to last — but their tumultuous story has largely been forgotten. Now, Donna M. Lucey vividly brings to life these extraordinary lovers and their sweeping, tragic romance.

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An entirely new kind of biography, Built of Books explores the mind and personality of Oscar Wilde through his taste in books.

Built of books : how reading defined the life of Oscar Wilde    New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2009 Thomas Wright Authors, Irish 19th century Biography, Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 Books and reading Hardcover. Originally published as: Oscar’s books. London : Chatto & Windus, 2008. 1st. American ed. and printing. xiv, 370 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 327-357) and indexes. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

This intimate account of Oscar Wilde’s life and writings is richer, livelier, and more personal than any book available about the brilliant writer, revealing a man who built himself out of books. His library was his reality, the source of so much that was vital to his life. A reader first, his readerly encounters, out of all of life’s pursuits, are seen to be as significant as his most important relationships with friends, family, or lovers. Wilde’s library, which Thomas Wright spent twenty years reading, provides the intellectual (and emotional) climate at the core of this deeply engaging portrait.

One of the book’s happiest surprises is the story of the author’s adventure reading Wilde’s library. Reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borges’s fictional hero who enters Cervantes’s mind by saturating himself in the culture of sixteenth-century Spain, Wright employs Wilde as his own Virgilian guide to world literature. We come to understand how reading can be an extremely sensual experience, producing a physical as well as a spiritual delight.

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