In 1895 Arthur Humphreys – a director of Hatchards and a friend of Oscar Wilde – printed fifty copies of a small eighty-eight-page compendium of Wilde's epigrams, culled from his published works. It was titled Oscariana. The initial selection had been made by Wilde's wife, Constance, but Wilde had not been entirely satisfied with it, and subsequently revised the whole text. A pirated edition of a further two hundred copies of the book was produced in 1903, but otherwise it has remained out of print – until now.
This new publication of Oscariana is a facsimile of this booklet, and the only selection of Wilde's wit endorsed and chosen by the author himself.
Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Language and Literary Studies
07 Feb 2019 * 88pp * £9.99 * 9781789540802
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish poet and dramatist, best known for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his plays Lady Windermere's Fan, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. He was also renowned for his wit, and was famously imprisoned after being found guilty of 'gross indecency with men'.
Matthew Sturgis is the author of acclaimed biographies of Aubrey Beardsley and Walter Sickert, as well as Passionate Attitudes: The English Decadence of the 1890s. He has contributed to the TLS, Harpers & Queen and the Independent on Sunday. Matthew is on the editorial board of The Wildean, the journal of the Oscar Wilde society.
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