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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)
Autograph letter signed, 1892, to Lord Alfred Douglas
4 pages, 23 cm
Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles, 2008; MA 7258.11

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In 1891 Oscar Wilde met a young Oxford undergraduate named Lord Alfred Douglas, known to friends and family as Bosie, the youngest son of the ninth Marquess of Queensberry. This letter is the earliest to survive from the passionate (and tragic) relationship that followed. Writing on stationery of his London club, Wilde referred to a visiting-card case, his recent gift to Douglas, and expressed candid longing to be together: "I should awfully like to go away with you somewhere where it is hot and coloured." At the top of the page Wilde scrawled Love to Encombe—the young viscount with whom Douglas was lodging at the time.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.