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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Listings for Author:  

Oscar Wilde

  

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Oscar Wilde : 

'In 1898 Armstrong organised the Ashington Debating and Literary Improvement Society, and his reading broadened out to Shakespeare, Burns, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Byron, Whitman, Wordsworth, Scott, Robert Browning, Darwin and T.H. Huxley. Robertson Nicoll's British Weekly had introduced him to a more liberal Nonconformity that was hospitable to contemporary literature. The difficulty was that the traditional Nonconformist commitment to freedom of conscience was propelling him beyond the confines of Primitive Methodism, as far as Unitarianism, the Rationalist Press Association and the Independent Labour Party. His tastes in literature evolved apace: Ibsen, Zola. Meredith, and Wilde by the 1890s; then on to Shaw, Wells, and Bennett; and ultimately Marxist economics and Brave New World'.

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Chester Armstrong      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Picture of Dorian Gray

'During these early years [Daphne du Maurier] filled her head with tales of adventure, romances, histories and popular novels, including such books as Treasure Island, The Snow Queen, The Wreck of the Grosvenor, Old St Paul's, The Tower of London, Nicholas Nickleby, Mr Midshipman Easy, Bleak House, Robinson Crusoe, The Mill on the Floss, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Grey(sic), Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. The seeds of her own novels were planted during these intensive, sometimes acted-out, reading sessions. The fascination with the sea, the importance of an historical sense of place, the theme of the dual personality, are all reflected in her reading during these formative years'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Daphne du Maurier      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : Intentions

'[Max] Beerbohm ... [declared] to Will Rothenstein that he had read ... only Thackeray's The Four Georges (1860) and Lear's Book of Nonsense (1846), though lately he had sampled Wilde's Intentions (1891).'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Max Beerbohm      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : Ballad of Reading Gaol

'Nottinghamshire collier G.A.W. Tomlinson volunteered for repair shifts on weekends, when he could earn time-and-a-half and read on the job. On Sundays, "I sat there on my toolbox, half a mile from the surface, one mile from the nearest church and seemingly hundreds of miles from God, reading the Canterbury Tales, Lamb's Essays, Darwin's Origin of Species, Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol, or anything that I could manage to get hold of". That could be hazardous: once, when he should have been minding a set of rail switches, he was so absorbed in Goldsmith's The Deserted Village that he allowed tubs full of coal to crash into empties'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: G.A.W. Tomlinson      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Portrait of Dorian Gray

'24th February 1929 (Sunday) Finished reading ?Les Amis? before luncheon. Rolland is the most ?beautiful? writer I know and this book is as good as his best. I would like to have all his works and to read the whole of this ?Jean Christophe? series. After luncheon I read ?Dorian Gray? for a while, then a light tea, and off to Levallois. Stopped at Gare St. Lazare for my papers, ?Le Temps?, ?Observer? and ?Monde?.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Gerald Moore      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : Ballad of Reading Gaol or De Profundis

'This book made a deep and lasting impression upon me because, apart from its profound human interest in the widest sense of the term, the agonising process of revaluation of regeneration, which it portrays, took place in the grim prison where my own initiation into the way of the transgressor first began.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Stuart Wood [pseud?]      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : 

Leonard Woolf to Lytton Strachey, 2 January 1903: 'I don't think my December list of books read equals yours. It includes however Bernard Shaw, Schopenhauer, Barry Pain, Browning, D'Aurevilly, Oscar Wilde, Flaubert, A Manual of Ethics & Shakespeare [...] I don't see how anyone, after reading Madame Bovary, can doubt which is the supremest of all novels -- though I now remember writing the same to you about Le Pere Goriot.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Leonard Woolf      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : [unknown]

'Sydney [Larkin's father] gave him free run of his library and his appetite for books grew enormously. "Thanks to my father", he wrote later: "our house contained not only the principal works of most main English writers in some form or other (admittedly there were exceptions, like Dickens), but also nearly-complete collections of authors my father favoured - Hardy, Bennett, Wilde, Butler and Shaw, and later on Lawrence, Huxley and Katherine Mansfield".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Sydney Larkin      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : plays

'Yet when the War broke out, I did not clearly understand what was meant by homosexuality, incest or sodomy, and was puzzled by the shadow that clung to the name of Oscar Wilde, whose plays I discovered in 1913 and read with a rapturous delight in their epigrams.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Vera Brittain      Print: Unknown

  

Oscar Wilde : Magdalen Walks

'Wilde later said that it was his mother who inspired him to write verse [....] When his poems first appeared in magazines she compiled a scrapbook of them, and frequently offered her enthusiastic criticisms. Of "Magdalen Walks" she wrote: "the last lines have a bold, true thought, bravely uttered... I recognise you at once...there is Oscar!"'

Unknown
Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Speranza Wilde      

  

Oscar Wilde : letter to Sidney Colvin

'We have just had Oscar Wilde's incredible letter to Colvin and have roared over it ...'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Louis Stevenson      Manuscript: Letter

  

Oscar Wilde : Poems

'We have just had Oscar Wilde's incredible letter ... I read his poems and found, with disappointment, they were not even improper.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Louis Stevenson      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Importance of Being Earnest

'Sat. Read "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde. Ev Roulette.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: William Thomas      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Decay of Lying

'Father has made Con read out to him again yesterday Oscar Wilde's essay ('The Decay of Lying') and ... he thought still more highly of it than before...'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Constance Lytton      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Decay of Lying

'Father has made Con read out to him again yesterday Oscar Wilde's essay ('The Decay of Lying') and ... he thought still more highly of it than before...'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Lytton      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : The Picture of Dorian Grey

'Here one is amazingly comfortable: a beautiful house lent by two young bachelors, Finch-Hatton and Pixley: lovely Japanese hangings and enamel ware, Persian carpets, and books such incongruous books: a lot of Wilde and Beardsley, think of choice bound editions of Sebastian Melmoth and Dorian Grey after four months of hard campaigning. A piano and pianola, a tropical garden full of roses.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Francis Brett Young      Print: Book

  

Oscar Wilde : Sebastian Melmoth

'Here one is amazingly comfortable: a beautiful house lent by two young bachelors, Finch-Hatton and Pixley: lovely Japanese hangings and enamel ware, Persian carpets, and books such incongruous books: a lot of Wilde and Beardsley, think of choice bound editions of Sebastian Melmoth and Dorian Grey after four months of hard campaigning. A piano and pianola, a tropical garden full of roses.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Francis Brett Young      Print: Book

  

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