Confounding the Critics, Surviving the Scandal: The Remarkable Reputation of Oscar Wilde

Headshot of Merle Holland

Thursday, April 28, 2022
4:00 pm PDT – 5:30 pm PDT

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

William Andrews Clark Lecture on Oscar Wilde

given by Merlin Holland

This lecture was livestreamed on the Center’s YouTube Channel and made available to watch for a limited time after the event. 

Merlin Holland, the only grandson of Oscar Wilde, writes, lectures and broadcasts regularly on the subject of his grandfather’s life. His publications include Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess, the first complete record of the libel trial which ultimately brought Oscar Wilde to ruin and social disgrace, and The Wilde Album, a pictorial biography of Oscar Wilde. He is also the co-editor of The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde and author of Conversations with Oscar Wilde, a series of imaginary conversations between him and his grandfather. At present he is working on an account of Oscar’s ‘posthumous life’ which will show that his grandfather has caused even more trouble after his death than when he was alive. After Oscar’s conviction in 1895, his wife, Constance, and their two sons were forced to move abroad and change their name to Holland. The family has never reverted to the name Wilde.

The inaugural presentation of the William Andrews Clark Lecture on Oscar Wilde was delivered by Merlin Holland in fall of 2007. This biennial series, made possible by a generous endowment founded by Dr. William Zachs, focuses on Wilde, his literary circle and the decadent movement of the 1890s. It highlights the Clark’s collection of Wilde material—the most comprehensive in the world—which includes autograph letters and drafts by Wilde and his circle; a nearly complete collection of printed editions of his works; photographs, original portraits, and caricatures; playbills and news cuttings.

Commemorative booklet

Image credits from commemorative booklet


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