Features

An Illustrated Chronology

CARICATURING

Pre-tour cartoons of Wilde as aesthetic, and even in this case androgynous, helped to established a curiosity to see him.

HYPERBOLIZING

Contemporary cartoon depicting Aestheticism personified bidding a sad adieu to Wilde's ship setting sail to America.

ANNOUNCING

Printed announcement of Wilde's first lecture in America.

COMPOSING

A fragment of Wilde's manuscript notes for his first lecture:  The English Renaissance.

BEGINNING

Where Oscar Wilde gave his first lecture in America.

POSING

Early drawing and bas-relief made of Wilde while he was in New York, in January 1882.

PARODY I

Comic verse about Oscar and the aesthetic movement.

MEETING

Wilde meets Walt Whitman in January, 1882.

CORRESPONDING

A page from Wilde's letter to Walt Whitman written shortly after he had met him in February, 1882.

LECTURING

Wilde on the lecture platform in 1882 as imagined by Max Beerbohm many years later.

DISAPPOINTING 

Wilde takes a break at Niagara Falls—but would it cure his disappointment with the Atlantic Ocean?

SIGHTSEEING

Owing to public curiosity, the press closely monitored Wilde's movements. Here his visit to Niagara is reported.

ANTICIPATING

The arrival of Oscar Wilde was much anticipated in every town his visited. Here  he is listed twice among daily news events.

OPINING

Wilde was not afraid to express his opinions. Here he upsets Chicagoans with his comments about their water tower.

FETED

Wilde was treated like a celebrity wherever he went and was taken to the finest places. In Cincinnati he visited the opera.

KEATS

One of many memorable experiences Wilde had in America was meeting the niece of his favorite poet and receiving from her a wonderful gift.

PATTI

Wilde visits the opera and meets the famous Italian diva.

IRISHNESS

Wilde, often mistakenly referred to as English, took the opportunity to express his patriotism to his Irish artistic heritage on St Patrick's Day 1882.

MIDWEST

After lecturing in the larger East coast cities, Wilde reached America's Midwest, which was still a place of frontier development.

PARODY II

The ridicule of Wilde's pose that had begun in Britain continued in America.

EVALUATING

One journalist's opinion.

TRAVELING

Wilde traveled many thousands of miles by train during his lecture tour. The longest single journey was across country to California.

PARODY III

Wilde arrives in San Francisco.

VERIFYING

One question of where Wilde lectured.

RESIDING

Wilde usually stayed at the best hotel in town. San Francisco was no exception.

JUMBO

Wilde was not the only curiosity in America in 1882— a certain elephant came under Oscar’s aesthetic influence.

PARODY IV

An aesthetically Wildean future for America as imagined by  Puck magazine.

VACATIONING

A meeting at the beach casts a long shadow.

WYNDHAM

The beginnings of Oscar’s life in literary society.

FINALIZING

A recently discovered final lecture in New York.

DEPARTING

Mixed opinions and still caricatured.

PARODY V

Punch magazine's reference to Wilde and the penchant for lecture tours.

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Oscar Wilde In America |  © John Cooper, 2018