• A Private View at the Royal Academy by William Powell Frith

    The Apostle of the beautiful and the Season

    The opening of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London on the first Monday in May marked the beginning of ‘the Season’ for the elite of Victorian

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  • Cover of 1907 edition of Salome by Oscar Wilde

    The curse of Salome

    Femme fatale Salomé may have claimed John the Baptist’s life, but she returned from the dead to ruin Aubrey Beardsley’s career and create another scandal in 1918, too. Photographs: My

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  • Cover of Devon Cox's book The Street of Wonderful Possibilities: Whistler, Wilde and Sargent in Tite Street

    Tite Street Titans

    When Oscar Wilde moved into 16 Tite Street, Chelsea with his wife Constance in January 1885, he was already familiar with Tite Street as the neighbourhood of his bachelor days.

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  • Bas relief sculpture featuring image of Oscar Wilde

    A walk on the Wilde side

    Put a well-stocked silver cigarette case in your pocket, but be sure to carry engraved spares. Bring plenty of cash, but keep it close to your heart; we’ll be dining

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  • Green-tinted photograph of Oscar Wilde in a rakishly angled hat

    Oscar Wilde and the green carnation

    “To be natural is to be obvious, and to be obvious is to be inartistic.” Gilbert in The Critic As Artist, by Oscar Wilde “All art is at once surface

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  • Oscar Wilde's tomb

    At Oscar Wilde’s tomb

    There are two people entombed within Oscar Wilde’s monument at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. You might have expected Wilde’s companion in eternity to be his Judas-like lover, Lord Alfred

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  • Sepia photo of Oscar Wilde holding a book that has been digitally coloured yellow

    Which poisonous yellow book?

    The secret of Raoul, Dorian and Oscar “’Zola,’ said Mr Gorby thoughtfully, taking down a flimsy yellow book rather tattered. ‘I’ve heard of him; if his novels are as bad

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  • Tite Street sign in Chelsea, London

    Peeping inside Oscar Wilde’s home

    When I was in London earlier this year, I visited what was once Oscar Wilde’s home in Chelsea. It is a private residence, not a museum, so I could only

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  • Staircase sign on a stone wall within an Oxford University college

    Stony heart

    I am infatuated. He doesn’t even know I exist. He’s older, learned, cultured, patrician, creative, pious and something of a snob. His intimates come from the very best circles; knowing

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  • Photographs of pompous man with a bow tie, moustache and pipe, representing the character Horace Tweed-Bottomley

    How to win the Booker prize (or at least get shortlisted)

    I spoke to distinguished critic Horace Tweed-Bottomley about what it takes to win the Man Booker prize for fiction. These are his suggestions for the ambitious writer: 1. Do not

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Oscar Wilde

Literary places





Poisonous novels

“The contemptible rage for novel-reading*, is a pernicious and deplorably prevalent taste, which vitiates and palls the appetite for literary food of a more nutritive