An Electronic Journal for the Exchange of Information
on Current Research, Publications and Productions
Oscar Wilde and His Worlds
Issue no 42: October/November 2007
Oscar by Pietro Psaier
‘OSCAR. IN THE SERIES/OSCARIANA. ARTIST PROOF. 68cm x 56cm. Commissioned for HOTEL PARIS, The last resting place of Oscar Wilde, based on The Victorian H.M. PRISON PENTONVILLE, LONDON, treadmills and the mind of WILDE, printed and etched upon handmade stock and incorporating the body of BEARDSLEY only five examples have been published by Studio Psaier, Signed.’
This page is now split into two sections. The first contains our Editorial, and short pieces that we hope will interest readers. The second section is a Guide or site-map to what will be found on other pages of THE OSCHOLARS with explanatory notes and links to those pages. Each section is prefaced by a Table of Contents with hyper links to the Contents themselves. For Section I, please read on. For Section II, please click
THE OSCHOLARS is composed in Bookman Old Style, chiefly 10 point. You can adjust the size by using the text size command in the View menu of your browser.
Navigating THE OSCHOLARS
The sunflower navigates to other pages.
We do not usually publish e-mail addresses in full but the sign @ will bring up an e-mail form.
Click on any entry for direct access
I. News from the Editor; changes to our team; innovations on the website; our discussion forum.
5. Oscar Wilde and the Kinematograph
11. Oscar Wilde and Katherine Mansfield
V. BEING TALKED ABOUT: CALLS FOR PAPERS
II. In the LIBRARY
6. Wilde on the Curriculum
12. Vienna World Theatre
VI. THE OTHER OSCAR
III. NEWS, NOTES & QUERIES
7. Work in Progress
13. The Viennese Café
VII. VIDEO CLIP OF THE MONTH
1. Pietro Psaier
8. A Wilde Find
VIII. WEB FOOT NOTES
2. Oscar Wilde goes to Sea
9. A Wilde Collection
3. Oscar Wilde : The Poetic Legacy
10. Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain
IV. THE CRITIC AS CRITIC: Reviews
X. NEVER SPEAKING DISRESPECTFULLY: THE OSCAR WILDE SOCIETIES
4. Dorian Gray
TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION II : GUIDE TO OTHER PAGES
Nothing in THE OSCHOLARS© is copyright to the Journal save its name (although it may be to individual contributors) unless indicated by ©, and the usual etiquette of attribution will doubtless be observed. Please feel free to download it, re-format it, print it, store it electronically whole or in part, copy and paste parts of it, and (of course) forward it to colleagues.
As usual, names emboldened in the text are those of subscribers to THE OSCHOLARS, who may be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org. Underlined text in blue can be clicked for navigation through the document or to other addresses.
In our last issue we announced that our Editorial team had been
joined by of Dr Tina O’Toole of the
To see all our team click
The first of our two planned once-off special features went on-line in October, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Richard Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde, guest edited by Dr Michèle Mendelssohn of the University of Edinburgh.
To see this, click
Work continues on the reconstruction of the website, with improvements in accessibility and design, so that it becomes a fully-searchable and easily navigated resource. This involves less scrolling and more clicking, enabling us decrease the length of pages. Various pages have been split up, and new ones created. This is largely the inspiration (and wholly the hard work) of our webmaster, Steven Halliwell.
Shortly to be introduced will be a section devoted to the New Woman, that important phenomenon of the fin-de-siècle. This not only denotes our dedication to fin-de-siècle studies in general but is a special salute to Lady Wilde, Constance Wilde, Dolly Wilde and Oscar’s own interest in giving women a voice in the magazine he edited – without great distinction, it must sadly be noted. Edited by Dr Tina O’Toole with the assistance of Lisa Sheridan and Yvonne O’Keeffe, it will begin as a section within this page, but following precedent will when ready migrate to its own page, and then perhaps become a multi-page journal in its own right on our site. Its provisional title is The Yellow Aster.
Our quarterly devoted to Vernon Lee (The
Sibyl ), under the
editorship of Sophie Geoffroy (Université de la Réunion) is now fairly
launched with two issues on line, and we have launched the first issue of Moorings, a quarterly devoted to George Moore and his circle, edited by Mark
Llewellyn of the
Another special issue, to be published in Autumn 2008, is on Teleny. We believe it is high time that scholarship on Teleny is brought together and the arguments about it properly marshalled. This is being guest edited by Professor John McRae of the University of Nottingham, whose edition of Teleny was the first scholarly unexpurgated one published. Readers who would like to submit an article discussing any aspect of Teleny should contact Professor McRae. @
A further special is planned for 2009, on Oscar Wilde’s stories for children. Initial expressions of interest in contributing can be sent to email@example.com.
Taking advantage of the possibilities of the website, we have also introduced a page called NOTICEBOARD, serving all our journals, where we will happily publish short term announcements of publications, papers and other items of interest submitted by readers. This does not replace notice in any of the journals, but is intended to be of value between issues. NOTICEBOARD is at
Another new page, launched in October 2007, is called . Here we gather the general theatre information that was hitherto scattered through our different sections – click its colophon to reach it. This is part of our reconstruction, allowing THE OSCHOLARS itself to focus more narrowly on things Oscarian. Similarly in the belief that it makes for economy of effort coupled to impact of effect we have given our monthly SOCIETY PAGE a permanent place: see
Discussion and announcements forum / Letters to the Editor
Your editors discussed at length the form that this should take: our old JISCmail service never functioned fully. We considered trying to revive it, or creating a listserv as H-Fin-de-siècle, or a blog. While none of these are ruled out for the future, it was eventually decided to set up a group with Yahoo, which despite its unattractive name and often unattractive material, is familiar to most people, and easy to operate and govern. We have laid down fairly strict guidelines for postings, and we hope that it will avoid acquiring some of the useless baggage that is a characteristic of some of these groups.
The forum was set up for us and initially moderated by Colleen
Platt, a committed Wildëan and experienced moderator. Unfortunately pressure of other commitments
has led her to step down from the position of moderator, although we hope she
will resume this in the future. The task
is taken up by Dr Mark Llewellyn and myself. Our model is
We do urge all our readers to sign up for this, even if only to ensure they get regular news by this means. All (including the rules for submission) can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oscholarship. There is a short registration process, as there is for all such groups and lists. If you set your preferences either to digest or to individual e-mails, this will overcome one problem for us, for at the moment sending e-mails to all our subscribers is a very long business: we have to send to small groups of members, as there are limits on how many copies can send (Windows or Outlook), and on how many group mails one can send in 24 hours (gmail). Many mailboxes do not accept group mailings; others reject automatically what we write as spam, most rudely. All possible steps will be taken to exclude spam, advertisements for dubious services, and irrelevant postings. We will sprinkle its link here and there in our pages, where we think readers may (or should) be prompted to express a view. The icon is
From time to time, we invite readers who have published articles on Wilde in anthologies or journals that are not readily accessible outside university libraries (and not always then) to republish them (amended if desired) on THE OSCHOLARS website. We have recently been putting articles on-line at the rate of one a week, and are very happy with the response that this has been meeting. We also intend republishing older articles on Wilde from anthologies and festchriften, made obsolete by the march of scholarship, but which may still have some value in charting how he was viewed by earlier writers.
These appear in a section called LIBRARY. Its logo, which can be clicked for access, is
This will bring you to a Table of Contents from which you can link to each article. There are also links to French language articles similarly republished in rue des beaux-arts.
Guidance for submissions is posted on the LIBRARY page.
Recently posted to LIBRARY:
‘The Aesthetic Realism of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray’ by Shelton Waldrep
‘“Judas always writes the biography”: The Many Lives of Oscar Wilde’ by Ruth Robbins
‘Wilde, Beardsley and the Making of Salome’ , by Linda Zatlin
‘The (Fai)Lure of the Aesthetic Ideal and the (Re)Formation of Art: The Medieval Paradigm that Frames The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Felicia Bonaparte.
These articles are the copyright to their authors, and thus usual rules for citation and against further publication apply.
New postings are announced on our discussion forum
« Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are. »
Our frontispiece this month is an image of Wilde by Pietro
Psaier (1836-2004). Born in Italy he
moved as a young man to Madrid and then to New York and while working as a
waiter in Greenwich Village, met Andy Warhol, with whom he had an affair, and joined Warhol’s studio ‘The Factory’, where
he produced layouts, silk-screens and joint works as wll as working as an
artist in his own right. He was drowned
when the Tsunami struck
Irish Ferries announce the
introduction in December on the Rosslare – France (
In our Spring
issue, to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Brendan Behan, we republished
his poem Oscar Wilde, in the
translation by Ulick O'Connor from Behan's Irish. Last month we republished the poem ‘Three
Demi-Gods’ by Robert Service. This month
we publish on a very different note Raymond Calvert’s ‘The Ballad of William
Bloat’, which we would describe as standing at the point where Robert Service
meets ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. We
have again taken our courage in our hands as we do not know to whom we should
have applied for copyright permission.
Eventually, these verses will be published in an Appendix. It may be as well to explain that the
NOTE ADDED JULY 2009. We were very pleased when, in July 2009, we were contacted by Mr Peter Calvert, the son of the writer of this Ballad, with an authentic version and an explanatory letter. These can be found by clicking here.
'The Ballad of William Bloat'
In a mean abode
Lived a man named William Bloat;
And he had a wife, the curse of his life,
Who always got his goat.
'Til one day at dawn, with her nightdress on
He slit her pretty throat.
With a razor gash he settled her hash
Oh never was crime so quick
But the steady drip on the pillowslip
Of her lifeblood made him sick.
And the pool of gore on the bedroom floor
Grew clotted and cold and thick.
Now he was right glad he had done as he had
As his wife lay there so still
But a sudden awe of the mighty law
Filled his heart with an icy chill.
So to finish the fun so well begun
He resolved himself to kill.
He took the sheet from his wife's cold feet
And twisted it into a rope
And he hanged himself from the pantry shelf,
'Twas an easy end, let's hope.
In the face of death with his latest breath
He said ‘To hell with the Pope.’
Now the strangest turn in this whole concern
Is only just beginning.
He went to Hell, but his wife got well
And is still alive and sinning.
For the razor
But the sheet
Brett Kolles writes
I am a graduate student writing my Master's Essay on Oscar Wilde, with a focus on Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and its decision to print the first edition of Dorian Gray. DG was first run in the July, 1890 publication of Lippincott's. I have read several reports that state the periodical sold quite well but I have been at a lost to find verifiable proof of this. I am specifically looking for circulation numbers (print run), although I would also be interested in the number of actual subscribers Lippincott's had before and after DG release. I have been in contact with several libraries and universities but have as of yet received but moral support. To give a firm basis for my thesis, I would like to have monthly circulation numbers for the year 1890 for Lippincott's. Any information, or suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.
We will forward any replies to Mr Kolles.
This section, in which we are displaying film posters, began in April 2003. After appearing here, these are posted on their own page, called POSTERWALL, gradually building up a gallery that will make the images more accessible than by searching the Internet. This can be found by clicking on the icon
This month’s posters were found for us by Danielle Guérin.
We are always anxious to publicise the teaching of Wilde at both second and third level, and welcome news of Wilde on curricula. Similarly, news of the other subjects on whom we are publishing (Whistler, Shaw, George Moore and Vernon Lee} is also welcome.
In December 2006 we published a list of fin-de-siècle
doctoral theses being undertaken at
Tiffany Perala spotted this report
‘Rare book found in charity shop. A rare first edition of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is given to a charity shop - in a handbag.’
There is no universal handbook or vade mecum to the various Wilde Collections, and we plan to make a start here. Sometimes where a collection’s contents are published in detail on-line we will simply give an URL; or we may be able to give more details ourselves. We hope then to be able to bring these together as a new Appendix.
Mark Samuels Lasner writes
For a census of Oscar Wilde's presentation copies I would appreciate learning of any such copies in public and private collections. By ‘presentation copies’ are meant books by Wilde which he inscribed to friends and others--as distinguished from books by other writers given away by Wilde. Details of edition, provenance, bookplates, and bindings are helpful and welcome.
important Wilde collection is that of the William
Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the
Library of the
The chief Wilde holdings in the
Bodleian Library at
McDonnell, Andrew. Oscar Wilde at
Carson Flanders is a writing a novel where his character finds a first edition Twain, inscribed to Wilde, with various implications. Mr Flanders is curious about whether there was any connection at all between the men. The biographies of Wilde that we have consulted suggest not, itself slightly odd. Does any reader know more? We will pass on any information to Mr Flanders.
We made these jottings from Vincent O’Sullivan and Margaret Scott (edd.): The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield.
– ‘Kathleen took Oscar Wilde as her mentor and his epigrams as a code of wisdom.’
Introduced to Wilde’s work by Walter Ripmann
(1869-1947), Professor of German at Queen’s College,
– ‘Vignettes’ heavily influenced by Wilde.
– Fragment of play ‘The Yellow Chrysanthemum’ c.1908 ‘draws heavily on The Duchess of Padua’.
– Early notebooks ‘drenched in Wildean influences’. Read her own homosexual leanings in Wilde.
And this from Anthony
Alpers: The Life of Katherine Mansfield.
– 1906. Was lent The Picture of Dorian Gray by her friend Mimi Bartrick-Baker, ‘a book that was to alter everything […] By Dorian Gray she was swept off her feet […] dazzled.’
In the published literature we known only of ‘Art and society : a consideration of the relations between æsthetic theories and social commitment with reference to Katherine Mansfield and Oscar Wilde’ by Kinoshita Yukiko (Chiba: Siji Chobo 1999, based on an University of London Ph.D thesis (1997) of the same name, but we are not in touch with Dr Yukiko, and would gladly learn more both of this and of any other publication that links Wilde and Mansfield,
This project, directed by Professor Ewald Mengel at the Department of English and American Studies, involves members of four different departments at the University of Vienna, including English and American Studies, Comparative Literature, Translation Studies and Theatre, Film and Media Studies, and has ALSO established international ties with the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Two of our Associate Editors, Barbara Pfeifer and Sandra Mayer, are involved in this project.
The members’ individual projects cover an extensive variety of issues. The range includes three full-length studies on the Viennese reception of such classic playwrights as Shakespeare, Shaw and Wilde, as well as contributions on various aspects of cultural transfer, censorship, transcultural theatre and stage translation. We will report further on this .
Not a million miles from the above, and funded by the Arts
and Humanities Research Council in
Research will focus on the historical, cultural and artistic
complexity of the Viennese café as an urban space in order to better understand
the culture of cafes, both past and present.
Attention has long been focused on
The project is run jointly by Dr Tag
Gronberg and Dr Simon Shaw-Miller in the Department of History of
Art, Film and Visual Media,
More information on the project can be found at www.rca.ac.uk/viennacafe. We will be covering this carefully, from both
We used to draw readers' attention to the list of lectures taking
This is a series of guided walks in
INTO HIDDEN LITERARY
Tel: 020 7387 7942 Mobile: 07791 029 770
A volume of
BEARDSLEY by Alexia Lazou ○ ALEISTER
CHARLES FORT by John Rimmer ○ ARTHUR MACHEN by Nicolas Granger-Taylor
EDWARD HERON-ALLEN by Joan Navarre ○ BARON CORVO by Bryan Welch
SAX ROHMER by
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS by Bill Redwood
Last month’s review section contained reviews by Marie-Noelle Zeender on Oscar Wilde in Paris, Lucia Krämer on Oscar Wilde from first
to last, Angela Kingston on Oscar Wilde
This month we carry the following reviews
Mark Llewellyn on Gyles Brandreth’s murder mystery
Lucia Krämer on Susanne Bach’s exploration of theatricality in James, Hardy, Collins, Wilde
The Importance of being Earnest in
Laurence Talairach-Vielmas on Christine Ferguson’s brutal language
The Importance of being Earnest in
The Judas Kiss in
The Zemlinsky Operas at Bard (Bruce Bashford)
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime in
Lady Windermere’s Fan in
Kolo Moser in
We welcome offers to review from readers.
Here we now only note Calls for Papers or articles specifically relating to Wilde or his immediate circles. The more general list has its own page; to reach it, please click . We hope these Calls may attract Wildëans.
We draw your attention particularly to
the call for papers for an Oscar Wilde
Conference in Oxford being
arranged by Stefano Evangelista at
and to this Call for articles for a Special Issue of Modernism/Modernity on British Decadence/aestheticism and modernism from Professor Cassandra Laity.
I am calling for submissions for a special issue on British Æstheticism (or Decadent/Aestheticism) and modernism of Modernism/Modernity (14.5, September 2008). Submissions may treat any aspect of Æstheticism and its relation to modernism and/or the formation of 20th-century ‘modernity.’
The field is open, but topics such Æstheticism and/or decadence and Victorian visualities, technology, architecture, or science in 19th-century painting, poetry, literature as they ‘interface’ with related phenomena and art in modernism are welcome.
We have arranged with Professor Laity to publish abstracts of the articles submitted to this special issue of Modernism/Modernity.
Our occasional research into the Oscar Wilde of the parallel universe: Introducing Oscar Monoclonal Antibody (though perhaps this should be filed in our Work in Progress section)
We thank Dr Ellis Hanson of
My criticism on Wilde seems to be reaching a wider audience. I thought you might enjoy this, which arrived in the mail recently. I wonder if other OSCHOLARS have been similarly approached:
Dear Dr. Hanson,
From your article titled "Oscar Wilde and the scarlet woman." (J Homosex. 1997;33(3-4):121-37.), we learned of your research with OSCAR and thought you might be interested in knowing that GenWay currently offers a monoclonal antibody against this target as part of our catalog products.
Here's a link to our NEW website to view the datasheet: OSCAR Monoclonal Antibody
GenWay specializes in avian (IgY) antibodies and their applications. We have an online catalog of over 20,000 products including:
Functional and soluble recombinant proteins
Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies
A unique line of ELISA Kits
All of our products can be searched, with datasheets, at www.genwaybio.com. Thank you in advance for your interest and consideration. Please feel free to reply to this email with any questions or concerns you might have regarding any of our products or services.
GenWay Biotech Sales and Marketing
Dr Hanson kindly permits us to publish his response:
May I call you Gen? Thanks for your urgent message about your custom-tailored antibodies, but the target Oscar has already infected my department. It's too late for us. We titter helplessly at witty epigrams. Various clonal bodies have commenced to proliferate. Evacuate while you can.
Oscar's data sheets were already inspected at his trial.
Yours in struggle,
We add that the avian antibodies here mentioned should not be applied to Dúnlaith Bird, Robin Darwall-Smith, Ashley Robins, Ruth Robbins, Merlin Holland, Alan Peacock, Robert Merle, Terry Eagleton… and we continue to speculate as to whether Elsa Kits might be the younger sister of Eartha.
A resource new to us is the website Youtube, from which we
offer the following link as launching our new section,Video clip of the
month. This is a trailer for a film of Salome, which to our great regret will
never be made. The producer is Vanessa
Magowan Horrocks, who is reading for a B.A in the Theatre Program at the
We thank Ms Horrocks for this information, and highly recommend her work for its quality and originality.
Salome is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGr25geLrAk
Our monthly look at websites of possible interest. Contributions welcome here as elsewhere. This
feature will be updated in our next issue (November / December 2007). Here
we note a new website launched
by Glennis Byron and Dale Townshend Department of English Studies,
The Department of English Studies at the
This aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for lively discussion and critical debate concerning all manifestations of the gothic mode, be it historical or as manifested in more modern and contemporary cultural events. We also seek to establish an internet-based community of gothic scholars and enthusiasts, and to serve as a platform for the dissemination of information relevant to our mutual gothic interests through our News page, run by Elizabeth Andrews.
The site’s bloggers, Amy Palko and Marilyn Michaud, will include posts on new books, films and other media, reports on gothic conferences and other events, and regular profiles of postgraduates working in the field. It starst with an introduction from Amy and a post from Marilyn on the new I am Legend film.
Each month on a guest blog they invite an academic or writer
to introduce issues more specifically related to the Global gothic. To launch the
guest blog, Katarzyna Ancuta (
In the Global gothic section, they will report on the publication of both fictional and non-fictional books, and the release of films and other media that might be of interest to those investigating global manifestations of the gothic aesthetic.
Keep checking back - this is a constantly evolving site, and new items will be added regularly.
All the material that we have thus far published in the monthly 'Web Foot Notes' was brought together in June 2003 in one list called 'Trafficking for Strange Webs'. New websites will continue to be reviewed here each month, after which they will be filed on the Trafficking for Strange Webs page. A Table of Contents has been added for ease of access.
‘Trafficking for Strange Webs’ surveys 48 websites devoted to Oscar Wilde.
The Société Oscar Wilde is also publishing on its website two lists (‘Liens’ and ‘Liaisons’) of recommendations.
To see ‘Liens’, click here.
To see ‘Liaisons’, click here.
Sites most recnetly visited
We copy this
from the Irish Diaspora list,
Forwarded on behalf of Aidan Arrowsmith. Subject: British Association for Irish Studies website.
Some of you will have noticed that, since before Christmas, we have been having major problems with our website. To cut a very long story short, our domain name, which we have owned for many years, was mistakenly sold by our hosting company, and despite protracted negotiations, it has proved impossible to buy it back.
As a result, we are taking the opportunity to overhaul the
BAIS website with the aim of making it a genuine hub for Irish studies in
In the meantime, please do visit www.bais.ac.uk - and update your bookmarks!
is (obviously) the Wikipedia address for Oscar Wilde. The long entry is sound enough, though besprinkled with small errors (‘Sir Edward Clark’ … ‘’The Reverend Stuart Hedlam’ … ‘Chief Justice Sir Alfred Wills’) and is sometimes rather naïvely written. We have little experience of Wikipedia, and do not know how the article rates by its usual standards.
October 2007 we were extremely pleased to announce the creation of a Spanish
bibliography of works on Oscar Wilde, compiled specially for THE OSCHOLARS
by Professor Cristina Pascual Aransáez. In the same month, as part of Richard Ellmann
tributes, we published a bibliography of Ellmann’s writing on Wilde. The bibliographies for this month are of the
writings on Wilde by Dr Bruce Bashford,
and of the articles on Wilde published in the journal In-Between (
Readers accustomed to checking here for news of the Wilde Societies are advised that these now have their own page. To reach it, please click
This is the fourth issue of THE OSCHOLARS to be originated on our new
website, provided and constructed by Steven Halliwell of The Rivendale Press, a publishing
house with a special interest in the fin-de-siècle. Mr Halliwell joins Dr John Phelps of