Constance and Oscar in the garden of Mr and Mrs Palmer in Reading. Constance stands while her friend Jean Palmer is seated on the ground
This is just a note to say that I’ve changed the theme to something cleaner. I realized that the old theme was a mess, and the text was hard to read, and it was time to change that.
Some years after Wilde’s death, his younger son Vyvyan received a letter from a Frenchman who, as a child, had known Wilde when he was in exile in France, following his release from prison and shortly before his death. In his book Time Remembered, Vyvyan published the contents of the letter:
One Autumn evening, while putting on my overcoat after finishing my meal, I clumsily upset something, perhaps a salt-cellar, on Monsieur Sebastian’s table. He said nothing, but my mother scolded me and told me to apologize, which I did, distressed by my clumsiness. But Monsieur Sebastian turned to my mother and said: ‘Be patient with your little boy. One must always be patient with them. If, one day, you should find yourself separated from him…’ I did not give him time to finish his sentence, but asked him: ‘Have you got a little boy?’ ‘I’ve got two’, he said. ‘Why don’t you bring them here with you?’ My mother interrupted … ‘It doesn’t matter; it doesn’t matter at all,’ he said with a sad smile. ‘They don’t come here with me because they are too far away…’ Then he took my hand, drew me to him and kissed me on both cheeks. I bade him farewell, and then I saw that he was crying. And we left.
While kissing me he had said a few words which I didn’t understand. But on the following day we arrived before him and a bank employee who used to sit at a table on the other side of us asked us: ‘Did you understand what Monsieur Sebastian said last evening?’ ‘No,’ we replied. ‘He said, in English: “Oh, my poor dear boys!”‘
Oscar Wilde photographed by Napoleon Sarony, 1882.
These photographs were taken in January of 1882, when Wilde had first arrived in America for his year long lecture tour. All were taken in the studio of the most famous portrait photographer of the time, Canadian born Napoleon Sarony. The various furs, capes, velvet jackets, and stockings Wilde wore for the photo shoot reflected the attire he would wear to his lectures.
It certainly surprised me when I found out that the majority of Wilde’s most iconic images came from the same session, and were taken in the U.S. when Wilde had only published a yet to be produced play, Vera; or, the Nihilists, and a single book of verse (which Wilde can be seen holding in the first and second photographs).
literature meme: seven characters.
dorian gray from the picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde
Oscar Wilde.I don’t regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure. I did it to the full, as one should do everything that one does. There was no pleasure I did not experience. I threw the pearl of my soul into a cup of wine. I went down the primrose path to the sound of flutes. I lived on honeycomb.
The Thames nocturne of blue and gold
Changed to a Harmony in grey:
A barge with ochre-coloured hay
Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold
The yellow fog came creeping down
The bridges, till the houses’ walls
Seemed changed to shadows, and S. Paul’s
Loomed like a bubble o’er the town.
Rare editions of The Picture of Dorian Gray.