WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph letter signed (‘Oscar’) to Louis Wilkinson (‘My Dear Boy’), Paris [Hôtel d’Alsace], n.d. [November 1899].
WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph letter signed (‘Oscar’) to Louis Wilkinson (‘My Dear Boy’), Paris [Hôtel d’Alsace], n.d. [November 1899].
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WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph letter signed (‘Oscar’) to Louis Wilkinson (‘My Dear Boy’), Paris [Hôtel d’Alsace], n.d. [November 1899].

Details
WILDE, Oscar (1854-1900). Autograph letter signed (‘Oscar’) to Louis Wilkinson (‘My Dear Boy’), Paris [Hôtel d’Alsace], n.d. [November 1899].

Two pages, 273 x 210mm, printed letterpaper from the Grand Café Capucines. Envelope (partial). [With:] handwritten and typed transcripts of the correspondence between Wilde and Wilkinson. Provenance: by descent to the present owner.

‘I am afraid you are going to be a poet: how tragic! how terribly tragic! In the waters of Helicon there is death – the only death worth dying’. Wilde sends his address at the Hôtel d’Alsace, asking ‘Did you ever receive a copy of my last play – "An Ideal Husband"? I told my publisher to send you one to Radley – I wrote your name on the title-page'. He appreciated Wilkinson’s latest work greatly – ‘I think your poem ‘Hyacinthe’ – (I don’t like the longer title) – very beautiful indeed: a most delicate work of art’ – its beauty inspires him to pronounce Wilkinson doomed to be a poet.

The letters exchanged between Wilde and Louis Wilkinson date from the final years of the poet’s life: cast out of English society and abandoned by most of his friends, Wilde was living in near-destitution in the dilapidated surroundings of Paris’s Hôtel d’Alsace. Yet the correspondence with Wilkinson is illuminated, nonetheless, by his joy in a shared love of poetry and art, and his affection for the younger man; here, Wilde asks whether Wilkinson has received the copy of An Ideal Husband promised in his letter of 3 February 1899 [see previous lot]. Wilde died in Paris on 30 November 1900; later, during his university days and beyond, Wilkinson would attract criticism for his public support of Wilde and his legacy, advocating against the repressive laws against homosexuality in England.

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