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Oscar Wilde In America

oscar wilde's 1882 lecture tour of america

Indianapolis, IN

The Decorative Arts* | English's Opera House | Wednesday, February 22, 1882

* Advertised and Reported as The English Renaissance. See also Lecture Titles.



Newspaper report

The Indianapolis News, Feb 23, 1882 p.3 col. 2





historical note

English's Opera House
Indianapolis Circle (now Monument Circle), Indianapolis, IN

Built: 1880*
Seating: 2,000
Opened: September 27, 1880
First electric light: 1889
Closed: April 30, 1948 (subsequently demolished)


* Built in 1880 by William H. English (see image below) who was defeated for vice president the same year on the Democratic ticket with General Hancock.


The New Denison Hotel
135 N. Pennsylvania Street (SE corner of East Ohio Street), Indianapolis, IN

Construction began: 1870
Opened: January 1880
Demolished: 1933 (replaced by a parking garage)

According to L&S, Wilde's hotel in Indianapolis was The New Denison.

Lewis and Smith's sources are often sketchily drawn, and on this occasion their source appears to be the Indianapolis Saturday Review (1880-84). Indeed they cite a story about Wilde being woken at 11:00 PM on the night of his lecture, to be taken to attend a reception being given by the Governor—Albert Gallatin Porter.

Based on the detail of the report there is no reason to doubt L&S as to Wilde's hotel, which was at the time one of the finest in the city. However, original source material has yet to be examined.

See: Historic Indianapolis


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