Lady Eccles Oscar Wilde Collection

Opening of a book showing the signature of Oscar Wilde on the page facing the frontispiece and title-page of ‘Poems By Oscar Wilde’ printed in London by Elkin Mathews & John Lane in 1892 Chiswick Press - C. Whittingham & Co. British Library shelfmark Eccles 354
Signature of Oscar Wilde; frontispiece and title-page of Poems By Oscar Wilde. London: Elkin Mathews & John Lane ..., 1892 Chiswick Press - C. Whittingham & Co. British Library shelfmark Eccles 354

Explore over 1500 printed items, manuscripts, letters, works of art and memorabilia relating to Oscar Wilde, the Irish playwright, poet and author who came to be regarded as one of the most successful dramatists of the Victorian era.

About the collection

Lady Eccles was a book collector who built one of the most comprehensive collections of material by and about Wilde in private hands. The collection began with the acquisition of Wilde’s correspondence with his friend Reginald Turner and expanded with the purchase of the H. Montgomery Hyde’s collection in 1962.  Later additions came from the libraries of Mortimer L. Schiff, Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde’s biographer Christopher Millard, Robert Ross and his son Vyvyan Holland. It was bequeathed to the British Library in 2003.

The collection includes:

  • Approximately 1000 printed items representing Wilde’s works including translations. The printed items include privately printed pamphlets, unauthorised editions, author’s presentation copies and rare editions with limited print runs. Periodicals which Wilde contributed to are also represented including The Women’s World and The Chameleon. Works by and about Wilde’s friends, family, supporters and critics are also included in the collection
  • The collection of manuscripts contains literary, personal and family papers of Wilde, and correspondence with and between his friends and associates. Literary manuscripts include autograph poems, playscripts, translations and essays.
  • Ephemera including newspaper cuttings, theatre programmes, posters, leaflets, music scores, LPs and postage stamps

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