Uncollected Letters of Oscar Wilde

Detail from the first page of the manuscript of De Profundis. British Library.

Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis’s The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde is a phenomenal achievement. It runs to 1200 pages and contains thousands of letters, from Wilde’s lengthy prison letter to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas (later published as De Profundis), to the most minor telegram requesting seats at a play. Taken together it represents the autobiography Wilde never wrote, and is perhaps the best way to get to know the real Oscar Wilde.

The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis. Amazon.com.

However, it was published in 2000, and since that time more letters have come to light. Matthew Sturgis alone found 60 previously uncollected letters while researching his mammoth biography, Oscar: A Life (2018). Some of these letters have not been printed in full, and can only be found in library archives. Other letters are in private hands. But some are accessible (in the sense that they are on the internet or in books that are easily sourced), and if you would like to read them, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are the collected uncollected letters of Oscar Wilde. Included are letters to such notables as Arthur Conan Doyle, Edith Nesbit, and Bram Stoker. The list is a work-in-progress and will be added to if I happen across any more publically accessible letters. Please get in touch if you know of any!

Note: Many auction and library catalogues quote or describe letters instead of providing complete transcriptions or scans. The aim here is to include any letter that does not appear in Holland & Hart-Davis, even if the publically accessible information about it is mimimal.

Wilde was not in the habit of dating his letters. Dates in square brackets are estimates. I have taken dates from the sources, unless my own research indicates a more appropriate date. In such cases I have explained my reasoning.

  • To Mrs. Browning, n.d. [1876-1878?]. Declining an invitation [to dine?]. Dated according to the address (1 Merrion Square). Bloomsbury Auctions (Literature, Manuscripts & Modern Firsts, 23/04/2009; lot 760). View source.
  • To Bram Stoker, n.d. [1879-1880]. Requesting a seat at the Lyceum Theatre. Dated according to the address (13 Salisbury Street). Heritage Auctions (sale 6113, lot 34149). View source.
  • To Mr. Sitler, n.d. [1879-1880]. Offering terms for working as travelling tutor to Sitler’s son. Bloomsbury Auctions (The Summer Book Sale, 20/08/2015; lot 402). View source.
  • To Charles Godfrey Leland, n.d. [1879?]. An introduction to Lady Wilde. The letter is on the note paper of the St. Stephen’s Club, to which Wilde was elected in the spring of 1877. Since the letter concerns Lady Wilde’s desire to meet Leland, it was probably written in 1879. Lady Wilde relocated from Dublin to London in May, and Leland left London for his native US the same year. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 307). View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, [c. Mar. 1879]. Apologising for his absence from the meeting of the Moore Centenary Committee. The Nation (Dublin, Ireland), 29 Mar. 1879, 13. View source.
  • To Harold Boulton, 23 Dec. 1879. Expressing regret that Boulton could not come to tea. This letter is on p. 85 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it is apparently incomplete. Wilde goes on to decline an invitation from Boulton’s mother. Sotheby’s (sale L04414, lot 7). View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, n.d. [1880?]. An invitation to tea and to meet Helena Modjeska. So dated because several similar invitations dated to 1880 are extant. Forum Auctions (Fine Books, Western Manuscripts and Works on Paper, 06/12/2017; lot 83). View source. For a higher resolution image of the letter, click here.
  • To Beatrice Faudel-Phillips, n.d. [Aug. 1880 - Dec. 1881]. Humorous advice to a child. Quoted in Mason, J. & Haley, M. (2021). Oscar Wilde: A Man for Our Times (p. 20). View source.
  • To Mrs. [Minnie?] Simpson, n.d. [c. Aug. 1880 - c. Oct. 1881]. Inviting her to dine. Dated according to the address (Keats House). University Archives (Outstanding Selection of Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics, 2019; lot 260). View source.
  • To Mrs. Selwyn, n.d. [c. late Aug. 1880]. Informing her that he has telegraphed to Amboise about her letter, which he did not receive while there. Reprinted with facsimile in Wright, T. (2016). Essay on an unpublished Wilde letter (containing a portrait of Mrs. A.S.). The Wildean, 49, 75-92. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, n.d. [c. Sep. 1880]. Forwarding a copy of Vera. This letter is on pp. 97-98 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original and there are a number of minor typos. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 308). View source.
  • To [Eleanor] Sickert, n.d. [late 1880 - early 1881]. Accepting an invitation. Bonhams (sale 20137, lot 160). View source.
  • To Dr. Regensburger, 5 Apr. 1881. Requesting information about a prescription that he had found “of the greatest benefit.” Heritage Auctions (sale 6111, lot 49217). View source.
  • To the librarian of the Oxford Union, [Summer 1881]. Responding to the Union refusing to accept a copy of his Poems. The Autograph, Dec. 1911, 11(2), 19. View source.
  • Exchange with an unidentified correspondent [a representative of Richard D’Oyly Carte], [30 Sep. - 1 Oct.] 1881. Regarding an invitation to lecture in America. The Works of Oscar Wilde, “American Lectures” by W. F. Morse (Vol. 15, p. 75). View source.
  • To Mrs. [Augustus A.] Hayes, n.d. [11 Jan. 1882?]. Inviting her and her husband to the theatre to see Clara Morris the following afternoon. Wilde is known to have seen Clara Morris on the afternoon of 12 Jan. 1882. Christie’s (sale 8401, lot 26). View source.
  • To Richard D’Oyly Carte, n.d. [20-24 Jan. 1882]. Complaining about being left without a manager. Dated according to the address (Arlington Hotel, Washington). A longer letter on the same topic is on pp. 130-131 of Holland & Hart-Davis. Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin (MSS_WildeO_2_4_018 ). View source.
  • To the editor of The Sun, 23 Jan. 1882. Complaining about his treatment by the press. The Sun, (Baltimore, MD), 23 Jan. 1882. View source.
  • To the editor of the Denver Times, [c. 11 Apr. 1882]. Regarding his imminent arrival in Denver. Denver Times (Denver, CO), 12 Apr. 1882, 4. Reprinted in Hofer, M., & Scharnhorst, G. (2010). Oscar Wilde in America: The Interviews (p. 181).
  • To Fanny Bernard-Beere, [17 Apr. 1882]. Regarding his tour of the western US. This letter is on pp. 161-162 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original. Wilde’s drawing of the Mormons in his Salt Lake City audience was redrawn for Martin Birnbaum’s Oscar Wilde, Fragments and Memories (view Birnbaum’s image). Birnbaum’s version was reproduced by Holland & Hart-Davis. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 310). View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, 20 Apr. 1882. Regarding Wilde’s visit to Topeka. Sotheby’s (sale N07980, lot 246). View source.
  • To Mrs Botta, 11 May 1882. Humorously complaining that his American tour has made him a “civilized vagrant”. Leland Little (The Winter Auction - Fine & Decorative Arts, Jewelry & Silver, 2016; lot 463). View source. Reprinted in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (p. 93).
  • To George W. Warder, [17 Apr. 1882]. Thanking Warder for his poem, and inviting him to visit Wilde’s hotel after that evening’s lecture. Dated according to the address (Coates House, Kansas City). The Sedalia Weekly Bazoo (Sedalia, IL), 5 Sep. 1882, 2. Reprinted in Murphy, J. D. (2013). Review: “Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America” by Roy Morris, Jr. The Wildean, 43, 130-133. View source. Also in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (p. 90).
  • To an unidentified correspondent [“A Gentleman in Chicago”], 17 Sep. 1882. Explaining his philosophy on “[m]an’s first duty”. Wheeling Register (Wheeling, WV), 3 Oct. 1882, 3. Reprinted in Formisano, P., & Scharnhorst, G. (2008). A Rediscovered Oscar Wilde Letter. The Wildean, 32, 6-7. View source.
  • To James Owen O’Conor, 22 Sep. 1882. Thanking him for his poem. The Lancaster Daily Intelligencer (Lancaster, PA), 28 Sep. 1882, 3. View source. Reprinted in Murphy, J. D. (2013). Review: “Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America” by Roy Morris, Jr. The Wildean, 43, 130-133. (View source).
  • To Steele MacKaye, [c. 26 Sep. 1882]. Regarding the staging of the Duchess of Padua. Dated based on other known letters on the same topic. Reprinted in MacKaye, P. (1927). Epoch: The Life of Steele MacKaye (Vol. 1, p. 446). View source. Reprinted in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (pp. 101-102).
  • To Steele MacKaye, [c. 15 Oct. 1882]. Inviting him to dine and see The Rivals starring Joseph Jefferson, which was staged at the Union Square Theatre between 18 Sep. and 28 Oct. Wilde was touring New England in late Sept. Reprinted in MacKaye, P. (1927). Epoch: The Life of Steele MacKaye (Vol. 1, p. 447). View source.

    Facsimiles of letters to Steele MacKaye. Click to enlarge or view original on HathiTrust.

  • To Steele MacKaye, n.d. [Nov. 1882]. Inviting him to see Mrs. Langtry, presumably at the theatre. Langtry made her American stage debut in New York on 6 Nov. 1882 and was in Boston by early Dec. Reprinted in MacKaye, P. (1927). Epoch: The Life of Steele MacKaye (Vol. 1, p. 448). View source and facsimile (card on bottom left).
  • To Steele MacKaye, [Nov. 1882?]. Inviting him to dine. Reprinted in MacKaye, P. (1927). Epoch: The Life of Steele MacKaye (Vol. 1, p. 445, letter 2). View source and facsimile (letter on right).
  • To A. M. Palmer, n.d. [c. Nov. 1882]. Suggesting that Palmer produce Wilde’s play [Vera]. Dated according to the address (West 11th Street, [New York]). Identified by Mary Chitty in the Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library. A transcription can be viewed on Chitty’s website.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, [1883-1885?]. A note about a cheque. So dated based on Wilde requesting “the two Scotch dates as I have many engagements in Feby [sic]”, which may refer to possible lecture dates. Skinner (sale 2167, lot 229). View source.
  • To Mr. Young, Thursday [16 May 1883?]. An invitation to breakfast. The date is based on the address (8 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square) and on Wilde mentioning having just returned from France. He wrote a letter to Robert Sherard upon returning from France that Holland & Hart-Davis date to 17 May 1883 (pp. 209-210). RR Auction (sale 602, lot 251). View source.
  • To Mr. Young, [May-July 1883?]. Inviting him to visit. So dated because of the possibility that this is the same Mr. Young to whom Wilde wrote after returning from France in 1883. The Anderson Galleries (sale 1470, lot 423, p. 49). View source.
  • To Miss Browning, n.d. [early summer 1883-Nov. 1884?). The address is given as 9 Charles Street [London], where Wilde lived for the last two months of 1881, briefly upon his return from America in January 1883, and from early summer 1883 until around late November 1884. The letter refers to lecture tickets and so was probably sent during the latter period, when Wilde was lecturing in the UK. Bonhams (sale 19377, lot 154). View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent (“My dear Doctor”). [early summer 1883-Nov. 1884?). Dated according to the address (9 Charles Street [London]) and the fact that Wilde refers to an upcoming lecture. Responding to an invitation. Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin (MSS_WildeO_2_4_016). View source.
  • To Marie Prescott, [c. July 1883]. Regarding the relative risks undertaken by Wilde and Prescott in the production of Vera. The Daily Graphic (New York, NY), 11 Aug. 1883, 277. View source. Reprinted in Dearinger, K. L. (2009). Marie Prescott: A Star of Some Brilliancy (p. 131-132).
  • To an unidentified correspondent, [1884-1887?]. Proposing the plot of a story about a carpenter who falls in love with a duke’s daughter. The date is arbitrary. Sworders (Fine Interiors including Books and Manuscripts, 11/09/2018; lot 74). View source. Also see the listing at Lot-Tissimo for scans of both [extant] pages of the letter.
  • To an unidentified correspondent [the editor of a periodical], n.d [Jan 1884?]. Responding to a request for a photograph. Reprinted with facsimile in Siegel, S. F. (2000). Wilde on Photographs: Four Unpublished Letters. The Wildean, 17, 12-47. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent [the editor of a periodical], n.d [Jan 1884?]. Suggesting that [R. G. Harper] Pennington provide a likeness of Wilde for publication. Reprinted with facsimile in Siegel, S. F. (2000). Wilde on Photographs: Four Unpublished Letters. The Wildean, 17, 12-47. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent [the editor of a periodical], n.d [Jan 1884?]. Confirming that the editor is free to publish any portrait of Wilde by Pennington. Reprinted with facsimile in Siegel, S. F. (2000). Wilde on Photographs: Four Unpublished Letters. The Wildean, 17, 12-47. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent [the editor of a periodical], n.d [Jan 1884?]. Providing Pennington’s address. Reprinted with facsimile in Siegel, S. F. (2000). Wilde on Photographs: Four Unpublished Letters. The Wildean, 17, 12-47. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, [22 May 1884, dated by recipient]. Regarding a possible lecture tour. Bonhams (sale 20137, lot 158). View source.
  • To ‘Arthur’, n.d. [1885-1895]. Wishing him a happy new year. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Christie’s (sale 6307, lot 311). View source.
  • To ‘Arthur’, n.d. [1885-1895]. Inviting him to the Vaudeville [Theatre]. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). University Archives (Outstanding Selection of Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics, 2018; lot 281). View source.
  • To ‘Fred’, 2 Apr. [1885-1895]. Inviting him to dine. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Bonhams (sale 17860, lot 36). View source.
  • To ‘Phil’, n.d. [1885-1895]. About Wilde’s illness and “war with the academy.” Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Christie’s (sale 2227, lot 144). View source.
  • To Countess [?], [1885-1895]. He cannot call on the unnamed Countess because his mother is ill with influenza. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). National Library of Ireland (MS 50,247). View source.
  • To Arthur Dacre, n.d. [1885-1895]. Introducing Miss Agnes Cahill. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Bonhams (sale 20137, lot 157). View source.
  • To [Charles William or Walter] Dowdeswell, n.d. [1885-1895]. Introducing Mr. Worres. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Christie’s (sale 2227, lot 145). View source.
  • To George Haité, n.d. [1885-1895]. Recommending artists Arthur Danpier May and C. S. Ricketts. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Swann Galleries (sale 2192, lot 277). View source.
  • To Mrs. Humphrey, n.d. [1885-1895]. Asking her to “communicate with Mr. Leader” about an unspecified matter. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin (MSS_WildeO_2_4_013). View source.
  • To Mr. Morgan, n.d. [1885-1891]. Advice to a writer. This letter is on pp. 264-265 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original and the correspondent is not identified. Bloomsbury Auctions (The Collection of Laurence W. Hodson, 04/04/2013; lot 282). View source.
  • To [Mr.] Murphy, n.d. [1885-1895]. Requesting he return a copy of Emerson’s Essays. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Bonhams (sale 18992, lot 194). View source. Also, Christie’s (sale 6973, lot 251). View source.
  • To ‘Viking’, n.d. [1885-1895]. Inviting him to lunch. Dated according to the address (16 Tite Street). Swann Galleries (sale 2095, lot 293). View source.
  • To Pierre Louÿs, 1 Apr. 1886. Musing on the state of poetry in the modern world. Bonhams (sale 14787, lot 253). View source.
  • To Doctor [?], n.d. [Nov. 1886?]. Paying a portion of a doctor’s bill. Bloomsbury Auctions (Literature, Manuscripts & Modern Firsts, 23/04/2009; lot 751). View source.
  • To Beatrice Faudel-Phillips, n.d. [c. Nov. 1886]. Declining an invitation on behalf of his wife. Quoted in Mason, J. & Haley, M. (2021). Oscar Wilde: A Man for Our Times (p. 20). View source.
  • To the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, [6 Nov. 1886]. Discussing Swinburne’s article in that day’s Athenaeum. Reprinted in Mason, S. (1914). The Bibliography of Oscar Wilde (item 175, pp. 141-145). View source.
  • To E. T. Cook, [c. late Nov. 1886]. Responding to Harry Quilter’s criticism of Wilde’s review of his book, Sententiae Artis. Described, but not quoted, in Wright, T. (2008). Oscar’s Books (p. 212).
  • To George Haité, n.d. [1887-1889]. Inviting Haité to visit him at Cassells, the publisher of The Woman’s World, which Wilde edited between 1887 and 1889. Swann Galleries (sale 2192, lot 278). View source. Also, Bonhams (sale 18992, lot 195). View source.
  • To George Haité, n.d. [1887-1889]. Refusing Haité’s designs for drop capitals. Dated according to the address (Cassells). Swann Galleries (sale 2192, lot 276). View source.
  • To T. Wemyss Reid, 1887. Apologising for breaking an engagement to dine. Reprinted in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (p. 139).
  • To Mrs. [Gowing?], n.d. [spring 1887?]. Bonhams give the correspondent’s name as Mrs. Eowing, but the name begins with a G (compare the letter with a detail from the De Profundis manuscript, here). The date is based on my assumption that the letter was written in Wilde’s capacity as editor of The Woman’s World. He asks for the addresses of Miss [Emily Pfeiffer], whom he invited to write an article for the magazine in the summer of 1887, and Marie Corelli, who contributed an article to the May 1889 issue. Bonhams (sale 24808, lot 271). View source.
  • To Alsagar Vian, [20 Apr. 1887]. Promising that his review of the play The Red Lamp will be ready by Monday. Reprinted in Mead, D. (2011). Oscar Wilde, Alsager Vian and “The Court and Society Review”. The Wildean, 38, 6-15. View source .
  • To Alsagar Vian, [early May 1887]. Complaining about the review of the Grosvenor Gallery exhibition in The Court and Society Review. Reprinted in Mead, D. (2011). Oscar Wilde, Alsager Vian and “The Court and Society Review”. The Wildean, 38, 6-15. View source.
  • To Arthur [Clifton], n.d [1 Aug. 1887?]. Inviting him to Drury Lane [Theatre]. The letter was offered for sale with an envelope postmarked 1 Aug. 1887. Sotheby’s (sale L20409, lot 172). View source.
  • To Arthur [Clifton?], n.d. [Aug. 1887?]. Apologising for failing to meet him at the Lyric [Theatre]. The date is a guess based on the fact that this letter was offered in the same auction as another letter to Clifton (lot 172) that may have been sent in Aug. 1887. Sotheby’s (sale L20409, lot 173). View source.
  • To Edith Nesbit, 21 Oct. 1887. Thanking her for agreeing to contribute to The Woman’s World. She contributed two poems, the first appearing in Nov. 1888. James Cummins Bookseller via viaLibri. View source.
  • To Cecil Smith, 3 Nov. 1887. Asking Smith (who worked at the British Museum) to show the bearer (an artist) some of the museum’s exhibits so that he could draw them for The Woman’s World. Reprinted with facsimile in Guardiola, R. R. (2019). Oscar Wilde’s Letters to the British Museum and the Illustrations in The Woman’s World. The Wildean, 54, 16-52.
  • To Cecil Smith, 9 Nov. 1887. Thanking him for sending photographs. Reprinted with facsimile in Guardiola, R. R. (2019). Oscar Wilde’s Letters to the British Museum and the Illustrations in The Woman’s World. The Wildean, 54, 16-52.
  • To Mr Niles of Roberts Brothers, Boston, [1888]. Complaining about the printing of the American edition of The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Reprinted (quoted?) in Wright, T. (2008). Oscar’s Books (p. 149) and in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (p. 151).

    Matthew Sturgis reprinted several uncollected letters in his 2020 book, Wildeana. Hachette.co.uk | Amazon.com.

  • To Walter Crane, [c. Jan 1888]. Thanking him for sending a poem and illustration. Dated according to the appearance of the same in The Woman’s World (view poem and illustration). An Artist’s Reminscences by Walter Crane (p. 195). View source.
  • To Phil Robinson, 16 Jan. 1888. Sending Robinson (editor of The Sunday Times) “a very clever feuilleton” (a story named The Little Gold Nugget) by Haddon Chambers. Reprinted in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (p. 234).
  • To Cecil Smith, 25 Jan. 1888. Asking him for advice on where to find “good portraits of Livia, Octavia, Cleopatra and Julia.” Reprinted with facsimile in Guardiola, R. R. (2019). Oscar Wilde’s Letters to the British Museum and the Illustrations in The Woman’s World. The Wildean, 54, 16-52.
  • To [J. S. Redmayne], [Apr. 1888?]. Declining an invitation to give a speech at an event, but agreeing to say “a few words in support of one of the resolutions”. Bonhams (sale 16869, lot 127). View source.
  • To [Miss] Armitage, 27 May 1888. Sending her an autograph but discouraging her from keeping an autograph book. Swann Galleries (sale 2095, lot 294). View source.
  • To Lady Monckton, [June-July 1888?]. Inviting her to contribute to The Woman’s World. So dated because it seems from the description to precede the letter to Lady Monckton in Holland & Hart-Davis (pp. 353-354). National Library of Ireland (MS 41,868). View source.
  • To Cecil Smith, 17 Sep. 1888. Asking about artefacts in the British Museum that feature depictions of umbrellas. Reprinted with facsimile in Guardiola, R. R. (2019). Oscar Wilde’s Letters to the British Museum and the Illustrations in The Woman’s World. The Wildean, 54, 16-52.
  • To John Stuart Blackie, n.d. [c. Oct-Nov 1888]. Requesting he support Lady Wilde’s application for a pension from the Royal Literary Fund, which was submitted in Nov. 1888. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 306). View source.
  • To Alfred Nutt, n.d. [c. Oct. 1888]. Refers to a forthcoming review of The Happy Prince in The Saturday Review, which appeared in the issue of 20 Oct. 1888. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 311). View source. Also see lot 312 in the same sale, which is accompanied by a scan of pages 2-3 of this letter (presumably due to a website design error).
  • To Cecil Smith, 27 Nov. 1888. Asking for advice on the “best types of Greek and Roman beauty in women”. Reprinted with facsimile in Guardiola, R. R. (2019). Oscar Wilde’s Letters to the British Museum and the Illustrations in The Woman’s World. The Wildean, 54, 16-52.
  • To Tristram [Everett?], n.d. [Dec. 1888]. Complaining good-naturedly at being stood up. Bonhams (sale 10053, lot 528). View source.
  • To [Mr.] Webster, n.d. [1889-1895?]. Reminding him of his promise to dine with Wilde. The letter is on the notepaper of the Lyric Club; Wilde’s first letter from the club in Holland & Hart-Davis is dated to 1889. Heritage Auctions (sale 6117, lot 45755). View source.
  • To [Mr.] Jalland, n.d. [1889-1895?]. A reminder to send Wilde “two stalls for your first night—I want to see Frank’s debut”. Dated according to the address (the Lyric Club). The seller gives the correspondent’s name as Talland, but the name begins with a J (compare the letter with a detail from the De Profundis manuscript, here). Ebay (user memoire.dencres). View source. Accessed 01/02/2021.
  • To [James] Knowles, n.d. [1889-1890]. Asking whether Knowles, the editor of The Nineteenth Century, has already sent him a cheque for his last article. Wilde published an article in the magazine in May 1885, but the letter is on 16 Tite Street notepaper and Wilde did not move into the address until the end of that year. It is more likely he is referring to one of the three articles that appeared between Jan. 1889 and Sep. 1890. Nate D. Sanders. View source.
  • To Arthur Fish, [1889]. A note to Wilde’s assistant at The Woman’s World about his inability to fit an item into the magazine. Cassell’s Weekly, 2 May 1923, p. 216. See the top of column 2. View source.
  • To Walter Hamilton, [postmark 29 Jan. 1889]. About parodies of his own poetry. This letter is on p. 390 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original and there are a number of minor typos. Instead of “contemporaneous”, read “contemporary”; “a love of the poet” should be “a love for the poet”. Some pages of the original are not provided and so there may be further errors in transcription. Skinner (sale 2300, lot 178). View source.
  • To Violet Fane, n.d. [c. Feb, 1889]. Responding to her letter thanking him for his notice of her book, which appeared in The Woman’s World in Feb. 1889. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 304). View source.
  • To Oscar Browning, n.d. [c. summer 1889]. A letter of condolence. Browning’s mother died between Apr. and June 1889. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 305). View source.
  • To [Edward Smith] Willard, n.d. [Aug. 1889 - Sep. 1890]. Asking for two “stalls” [at the Shaftesbury Theatre] to see Willard in The Middleman. The play opened on 27 Aug. 1889 and Willard gave his last performance on 26 Sep. 1890 before departing for New York. John Wilson. View source (click on letter to view pages 2-3).
  • To John Moore Sinyanki, n.d. [15 Dec. 1889?]. Offering to second Sinyanki’s nominations [to the Beaufort Club]. Offered for sale with an envelope postmarked 15 Dec. 1889. Bonhams (sale 11494, lot 440). View source.
  • To Miss Kenealy, n.d. [1890-1895]. Congratulating her on an article she had written. So dated because Wilde mentions The Picture of Dorian Gray. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 313, p. 57). View source.
  • To [R. E. Forrest], n.d. [July 1890 - May 1891]. Responding gracefully to a suggested change to his essay The Critic as Artist. Sotheby’s (sale L16408, lot 147). View source.
  • To Arthur Conan Doyle, [c. July 1890]. Thanking Conan Doyle for his kind words about The Picture of Dorian Gray. Reprinted in Conan Doyle, A. (1924). Memories and Adventures (p. 74). View source.
  • To the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, [c. 22 Sep. 1890]. Explaining the genesis of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Pall Mall Gazette, 23 Sept. 1890, 2. View source. Reprinted in Scharnhorst, G. (2010). Oscar Wilde on the Origin of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”: A Recovered Letter. The Wildean, 37, 12-15. View source.
  • To the editor of the New York Herald, European edition, [c. 14 Feb. 1891]. Admitting authorship of Guido Ferranti. New York Herald, European edition, (Paris, France), 15 Feb. 1891, 1. View source.
  • To William Heinemann, [c. Oct. 1891?]. Regarding Wilde writing a preface for two plays by Maeterlinck. The letter is described but not quoted. Sotheby’s (sale L04414, lot 38). View source.
  • To Theodore Bromley, n.d. [Dec. 1891?]. Complaining that The Duchess of Padua is not being performed often enough (Bromley was managing a tour of the US with Nina K. Gale in the lead role). This letter is on pp. 509-510 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but the correspondent is not identified. The Anderson Galleries (sale 1470, lot 421, p. 48). View source.
  • To Aimée Daniell Beringer, [1892-1895]. Offering her daughter a small role in a provincial production of Lady Windermere’s Fan. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 313). View source.
  • To Alfred Holles, n.d. [1892?]. Inviting him to dine. So dated because Holles was appearing in Lady Windermere’s Fan in 1892. Swann Galleries (sale 2043, lot 357). View source.
  • To Miss Temple, n.d. [c. Oct. 1892?]. Declining Lady Mount-Temple’s invitation because he is going to Mrs. Palmer’s for a few days. Wilde is known to have visited the Palmers around Oct. 1892. Forum Auctions (Private Press, Illustrated Books and Modern First Editions, 30/01/2019; lot 277). View source. For a higher resolution image of the letter, click here.
  • To Lord Alfred Douglas, n.d. [c. Nov. 1892]. Expressing gladness that Douglas is feeling better and mentioning his plans to travel to Paris. This letter is on pp. 538-539 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original and there are slight errors (“Love to Encombe” should be at the top of the letter, not the bottom; “really” is underlined in the original and so should be italicised; and the word transcribed as “running” should be “rushing”). The Morgan Library. View source.
  • To Herbert Beerbohn Tree, [c. 1893]. Possibly discussing his next play [An Ideal Husband]. The letter is described but not quoted. Sotheby’s (sale L04414, lot 63). View source.
  • To [Paul] Bonnefon, [1893]. Acknowledging receipt of Bonnefon’s book. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/3). View source.
  • To Pierre Louÿs, 28 Apr. [1893]. Acknowledging receipt of Louÿs’s letter acknowledging receipt of the proof dedicatory page of Salomé. Bonhams (sale 14787, lot 253). View source.
  • To a representative of The Press, [c. 7 & 14 July 1894]. A series of telegrams in which Wilde refuses to be interviewed. The Press, (New York, NY), 8 July 1894, 7; 15 July 1894, 3. View source.

    Last page of a letter to John Lane. Click to enlarge or view original at the Morgan Library.

  • To John Lane, [Aug. 1894]. Returning corrected proofs [of A Woman of No Importance]. This letter is on pp. 604-605 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was not transcribed from the original, which is longer (the most interesting omission is “I have to thank you for allowing my wife to make selections of phrases for her anthology [Oscariana]”). The Morgan Library. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, Sep. 1894. Providing an autograph at the request of Lillie Langtry. Heritage Auctions (sale 629, lot 25900). View source.
  • To ‘Frank’ (Richardson?), [c. Mar. 1891? Jan. 1894? Oct. 1894?]. Asks for more information on his work as a playwright. Sent from Brighton, where Wilde stayed several times. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 366, p. 65). View source.
  • To Ada Leverson, [5 Oct. 1894]. Complimenting her article in Punch. This letter is on p. 618 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but there are differences. The most notable is Holland & Hart-Davis’s omission of references to “Dorian” (presumably Lord Alfred Douglas), but both versions contain text the other doesn’t. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 316, p. 57). View source.
  • To Ada Leverson, n.d. Responding to an invitation to dine. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 322, p. 58). View source.
  • To Ada Leverson, n.d. Thanking her for flowers. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 327, p. 60). View source.
  • To ‘Robert’ [Ross? Sherard?], n.d. A note to say that he is “in a great hurry to keep an appointment with a dentist!!” The Anderson Galleries (sale 1760, lot 298, p. 33). View source.
  • To the editor of the New York Herald, European edition, [early Nov. 1894]. Expressing his opinions on the writings of Paul Bourget. New York Herald, European edition (Paris, France), 12 Nov. 1894, 3. View source.
  • To [Henry D.] Davray, [c. 3 June 1897]. Thanking him for sending books. Dated accorded to the address (Berneval-sur-Mer), and Wilde mentioning that Ernest Dowson is with him. Christie’s (sale 6973, lot 254). View source. Now held by Trinity College Dublin (IE ICD MS 11437/1/1/6), where more of the letter is quoted. View source.
  • To an unidentified correspondent, [late June 1897?]. Expressing gratitude to French writers. Quoted in Wright, T. (2008). Oscar’s Books (p. 278; see n24).
  • To Carlos Blacker, 21 July [1897]. Congratulating him on the birth of a child. Sotheby’s (sale N09920, lot 314). View source.
  • To Leonard Smithers, 2 Nov. 1897. Discussing manuscript changes in The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Described, but not quoted. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/8). View source.
  • To Leonard Smithers, 11 Nov. 1897. Instructing on the printing and binding of The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Described, but not quoted. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/9). View source.
  • To Leonard Smithers, [c. spring 1898]. Thanking him for sending a newly published play [An Ideal Husband], and enquiring about the sale of some Irish property. Christie’s (sale 7088, lot 90). View source. Also see Pall Mall Gazette, 6 July 1911, 10. View source. Also see Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/10), from which the estimated date is taken. View source.
  • To ‘Wilmot’, [c. spring 1898?]. Asking him to find Arthur Clifton and “get some information concerning that tiresome Dublin business”. So dated because it appears to deal with the same subject as the Leonard Smithers letter of Spring 1898. The Anderson Galleries (sale 1565, lot 432, p. 80). View source.
  • To Leonard Smithers, [postmarked 15 Mar. 1898]. Responding to reviews of The Ballad of Reading Gaol. This letter is on p. 1037 of Holland & Hart-Davis, but it was taken from a transcript in which punctuation was regularised and underlining ignored. Bonhams (sale 17807, lot 144). View source.
  • To Leonard Smithers, [summer 1898?]. Regarding the return of a manuscript and a planned trip to Venice. The catalogue of the Stetson auction (lot 348, p. 63). View source.
  • To Alfred Vallette, n.d. [post-September 1898]. Asking him to distribute six copies of The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Described, but not quoted. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/11). View source.
  • To Henry D. Davray, 13 Dec. 1898. Sending news of Frank Harris, who was staying at the Ritz. Christie’s (sale 6973, lot 255). View source. Also see Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/12). View source.
  • To Frances Harrod, May 1899. Congratulating her on her marriage. Reprinted in Sturgis, M. (2020). Wildeana (pp. 220-222).
  • To Henry D. Davray, [c. Aug. 1899]. Alerting him to Wilde’s postal address at the Hôtel d’Alsace. Described, but not quoted. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/13). View source.
  • To [Monsieur Georges], [c. Aug. 1899]. Requesting to have his letters forwarded to “Mr. Melmoth” at the the Hôtel d’Alsace. Described, but not quoted. Trinity College Library Dublin (IE TCD MS 11437/1/1/14). View source.

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