Written in November 1892 at a favorite haunt, the Albemarle Club, this is Oscar Wilde’s earliest surviving letter to his infamous lover, Lord Alfred Douglas (1870–1945). Wilde mentions his gift of a card case to Douglas, affectionately known as “Bosie,” and inquires about his recent illness in Oxford (“quite impossible in winter”). Perhaps thinking of his imminent travel to Paris and Bosie’s proposed trip to the Isles of Scilly, Wilde fantasizes about their slipping away together: “I should awfully like to go away with you somewhere—where it is hot and coloured.” The letter is a rare survival: after disavowing his relationship with Wilde later in life, Douglas destroyed much of their correspondence.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900). Letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, [November 1892]. MA 7258.11. Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles, 2008.