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The definitive Oscar Wilde in America lecture tour itinerary

The purpose of this itinerary is to provide for the first time an  accurate itinerary of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of America in 1882.

We are fortunate to be able to build upon the work of other Wilde scholars. We owe a tremendous debt to them and we are extremely appreciative of their contributions to Wilde scholarship.

All previous chronologies have been shown to contain inaccuracies.  This is not a criticism.  Authors had a wider canvass than Wilde in America, plus each lacked subsequent knowledge or modern data recovery methods as a research tool.

There are four main published chronologies of Oscar Wilde’s American lecture tour that we have used as our starting point:

  • Mikhail, E. H., ed.  Oscar Wilde: Interviews and Recollections.  2 vols. London: MacMillan, 1979.

  • Ellmann, Richard.  Oscar Wilde.  London: Hamish Hamilton; New York: Knopf, 1987.

  • Page, Norman.  An Oscar Wilde Chronology.  Houndmills: MacMillian; Boston: G. K. Hall, 1991.

  • Beckson, Karl E., ed.  The Oscar Wilde Encyclopedia. New York: AMS Press, 1998.

None of these four existing calendars agrees with any other.  The differences are demonstrated in a checklist format to which we have added a fifth column for verification by the OWSOA

Our standard is that no date, location, or lecture subject, will be verified by OWSOA unless it can be supported by a primary source.

The detail of Wilde’s American tour presents considerable challenges and necessarily makes this  a continually evolving project.

Click here for more on sources and standards.

PICTURE: Grand Hotel, Broadway and 31st Street, New York City, [extant], John Cooper.
(Wilde's first lodging, January 1882-  see Social Calendar)

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