web site by cooper design 


Oscar Wilde In America

a selected resource of oscar wilde's visits to america

Hamilton, ON

The Relation of Art to Other Studies* | Wesleyan Ladies' College | Wednesday, May 31, 1882

* A specially prepared talk not a formal lecture.



Newspaper Report

Belleville Daily Ontario, June 2, 1882, 3

"Oscar Wilde visited the Wesleyan Female College (sic) at Hamilton and made a neat little speech to the girls."

Quoted in Oscar Wilde in Canada, Kevin O'Brien, 1882


Newspaper Report

Hamilton Spectator, June 1, 1882, 4

"Oscar Wilde was much pleased with the Ladies' College, or rather the ladies he saw there. In return for his perfectly lovely address they gave him a bouquet."*

* The flowers were presented by the principal's daughter Leda Burns.

Quoted in Oscar Wilde in Canada, Kevin O'Brien, 1882

Dr. Alexander Burns


College principal and literature professor, Dr. Alexander Burns took the school of 140 students to Wilde's lecture the previous evening at the Grand Opera House in Hamilton, and invited Wilde to talk at the college the following morning.

Born: 1834, Castlewellan, Co. Down, Ireland (now N. Ireland)
Died: May 22, 1900, Toronto, ON

historical note

Wesleyan Ladies' College
57 King St. East, Hamilton, Ontario (now 102-144 King St. E)


Built: 1854 (as the Anglo-American Hotel)
Hotel closed: 1861, converted to a college

College incorporated: May 18, 1861
Opened: September 1861 (Wesleyan Female College)
Name change: before 1882, Wesleyan Ladies' College
Principal 1882: Dr. Alexander Burns
Students: typically 144-163
Closed: 1897


Reconverted to a hotel: 1898 (the Waldorf Hotel)
Closed: 1913
Demolished: 1914
Replaced by: the Royal Connaught Hotel (opened 1916), extant as condominiums


Wilde had stayed the previous night in Hamilton following his main lecture the day before, and he left after this morning talk at the college on the 11:30 am train for Boston.


web site by cooper design Oscar Wilde In America