• Photo of Oscar Wilde's eyes against a night sky and stars

    Wilde’s year

    16 October: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on this day in 1854.

    Read more »
  • Reading Gaol in 1840

    Oscar Wilde exhibitions 2016

    I envy those of you in the Northern Hemisphere; this year you can attend one Oscar Wilde exhibition in Paris and another in Berkshire, England. If you go to either,

    Read more »
  • Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Pierre Louÿs and Edmond de Goncourt

    The French connection

    Oscar Wilde took inspiration from France’s reverence for the arts, but made a tactical error in assuming that the English establishment would accord artists the same respect.

    Read more »
  • Preview from The Diagram of Dorian Gray

    Dorian’s men and the Diagram of Dorian Gray

    On this day in 1890, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine. Do you know the men behind Dorian? See The Diagram of Dorian Gray.

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »
  • 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

    Read more »

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