QUOTATION: America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself.

WHERE IT APPEARED

In a magazine article by Wilde, originally uncredited.

'The American Man' in The Court and Society Review Vol. IV, No. 145, April 13, 1887, pp. 341-343.

 

Mason, 15.

Bibliography of Oscar Wilde

by Stuart Mason, 1914

LONDON | T. WERNER LAURIE LTD.

 

Reproduced here: The American Man

 

WHERE IT DID NOT APPEAR

Not reprinted in Miscellanies.

IN CONTEXT - THE AMERICAN MAN

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America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself. Yet how immense are its obligations to us! How enormous its debt! To gain a reputation for humour, its men have to come to London ; to be famous for their toilettes, its women have to shop in Paris. 

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Yet, though the American man may not be humorous, he is certainly humane. He is keenly conscious of the fact that there is a great deal of human nature in man, and tries to be pleasant to every stranger who lands on his shores. He has a healthy freedom from all antiquated prejudices, regards introductions as a foolish relic of mediaeval etiquette, and makes every chance visitor feel that he is the favoured guest of a great nation. If the English girl ever met him, she would marry him ; and if she married him, she would be happy. For, though he may be rough in manner, and deficient in the picturesque insincerity of romance, yet he is invariably kind and thoughtful, and has succeeded in making his own country the Paradise of Women. 

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This, however, is perhaps the reason why, like Eve, the women are always so anxious to get out of it.

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Full text here: The American Man

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Oscar Wilde In America |  © John Cooper, 2018