As a fellow Wildean I expect you are already suspicious of titular double entendres, so I do not expect the gratuitous title of this article will entice you far. However, lest there be any misunderstanding about the direction of our story, we shall remain in Earnest. And to spare you any possible disappointment, as the flirtatious Gwendolen might say: Honest Abe does not produce any vibrations.
Instead, Lincoln and the Adult Novelty Store, in keeping with the theme of this blog, is a historical detective story about Oscar Wilde, and the title, I assure you, is an ideal headline.
In verifying Wilde’s tour of America I have reached Nebraska.
The first task when examining Wilde’s tour stops is to establish the location for his lectures. In this case, it is the lecture which took place on April 24, 1882 in the city of—I sense you anticipate me—Lincoln, the state capital of Nebraska.
Continue reading Lincoln and the Adult Novelty Store
Oscar Wilde’s Reception in Kansas and the Sunflower Soirée.
Last week I gave a talk on the subject of Oscar Wilde and the sunflower to the good people of the Maryland Agriculture Resource Council at their Sunflower Soirée, a yearly festival devoted to the Helianthus annuus. Literally, an annual event.
Secretly, it was a wonderful occasion. But there was a gloomy weather forecast which was the portent to a poignant moment.
Continue reading The State of the Sunflowers
Original Oscar Wilde-Related Guided Walking Tours In New York City.
You may be interested to know, or to be reminded, that I still conduct my guided walking tour which you can see showcased at its new web site Oscar Wilde In New York.
The tour, which visits various Wildean haunts including houses where he lived, and clubs that he visited, has been conducted intermittently since 2002.
The next tour will given for the The Municipal Art Society of New York—details of which can be found here.
How the effeminate Oscar Wilde was likened to women in 1882.
During his lecture tour of America in 1882, Oscar Wilde was often described as effeminate.
It has often been thought that Oscar was acting the part of the effeminate; certainly, he was playing up to it: his dress and manner coinciding with the “namby-pamby” image of Bunthorne from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience that preceded him.
But, given our knowledge that Wilde continued to display the same effeminate sensitivities throughout his life, how much of his 1882 pose was an act?
Perhaps it is the case that rather than his being landed with an effeminate role, Wilde gravitated towards it.
Indeed, he portrayed his role so convincingly that, as we shall discover, the ever-anticipatory Wilde was conceptualized as female.
Continue reading Doubtful as Men