Autograph Letter Signed with two illustrations, on printed address stationery, 8vo, 16, Tite Street, Chelsea, S. W.,n.d. but between 1885-95. OSCAR WILDE.
OSCAR WILDE

(1854-1900) Irish playwright, poet and novelist, perhaps best remembered for his novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray "(1890).

Autograph Letter Signed with two illustrations, on printed address stationery, 8vo, 16, Tite Street, Chelsea, S. W.,n.d. but between 1885-95.

Two doodles make this Oscar Wilde letter unusual if not unique. Wilde writes to a mysteriously named correspondent, “My Dear delightful Viking”, whom Wilde later explains with the intriguing description, “The Viking is also a great playwright.” To add to the mystery, Wilde draws two of the same doodle, composed of an X and four dots, after each mention of Viking. The letter remains likely unpublished since our research indicated no references in the indexes to Ellman's biography of Wilde or the Complete Letters (ed. Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis, 2000), Text in full: "Dear delightful Viking, Let us lunch at the Lyric Tomorrow at 1.30. It is ages since I met you - isn't it? It seems so to me. always yours, Oscar.... The Viking is also a great playwright.” This letter was written between 1885 and 1895. Oscar Wilde lived at 16 Tite Street (the letterhead of this stationery) from 1885, shortly after he married Constance Mary Lloyd, until 1895. The street was home at various points to great literary figures, including George Eliot, D.G. Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, Bram Stoker and Mark Twain. During this period, Wilde wrote and published The Happy Prince, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest and many other works. In June of 1891, Wilde met Lord Alfred Douglas, known as Bosie, and dined with him for the first time in July of 1891 at the Lyric Club where Wilde offered to meet “the Viking”. Wilde and Bosie became lovers at that time. Who might the Viking be?. Wilde might be making a joke to theater critic and writer William Archer ( 1856 –1924). Wilde and Archer knew each other as Archer reviewed Wilde’s plays. Archer was an early advocate of the plays of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and translated Ibsen’s plays into English. Archer, himself, spent summers during his childhood in Norway with his grandfather, naturally learning the Norwegian language. Equally intriguing is the drawing shown each time after the word “Viking”. The drawing consists of an “x” with four dots, one in each quadrant. The basic design could be a variant of the Rune symbol X; or possibly a just a doodle.

Item #4405

Price: $14,000.00

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