THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM RECEIVES DONATION OF RARE “LOST” OSCAR WILDE VOLUME

The Morgan Library & Museum announced today that it has received the gift of a highly important bound collection of Oscar Wilde’s letters and manuscripts, the whereabouts of which has been unknown to scholars for over half a century.

The magnificent red-leather-bound volume, totaling just over fifty handwritten pages, will be placed on exhibition beginning April 17, 2009. The volume comprises nine manuscripts of poems and prose pieces and four important letters that illuminate the life and work of the celebrated writer, dramatist, aesthete, wit, and self-proclaimed “lord of language.” Of special note are the earliest surviving letter from Wilde to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas (called “Bosie,”); a manuscript of the story “The Selfish Giant” in the hand of Wilde’s wife, Constance; the only surviving autograph manuscripts of Wilde’s Poems in Prose; and a letter in which Wilde reiterated his famous claim that art is “useless.”

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