Making Oscar Wilde

Making Oscar Wilde

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Hear the untold story of young Oscar's career in Victorian England and post-Civil War America

Hear the previously untold, newly researched story of young Oscar's career in Victorian England and post-Civil War America from Oxford University's Michèle Mendelssohn, as she reveals his adventures on both sides of the pond.

Drawing on her new book, Making Oscar Wilde, Michèle Mendelssohn gives an illustrated talk that shows how Wilde's tumultuous early life embodies the story of the Victorian era as it tottered towards modernity, placing sensation-hungry Victorian journalism and popular entertainment alongside racial controversies, sex scandals, and the growth of Irish nationalism.

Set on two continents, Michèle Mendelssohn tracks a larger-than-life hero on an unforgettable adventure to make his name and gain international acclaim. 'Success is a science,' Wilde believed, 'if you have the conditions, you get the result.'

Michèle Mendelssohn was awarded a British Library fellowship in 2008, which proved to be invaluable in her research for Making Oscar Wilde. She made extensive use of the Lady Eccles Oscar Wilde Collection and found many treasures there, spending time with American newspapers and Wilde’s literary papers and scrapbooks she wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.

Michèle Mendelssohn is a literary critic, cultural historian and Associate Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. She earned her doctorate from Cambridge University and was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University. Her previous books include Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Aesthetic Culture and two co-edited collections of literary criticism, Alan Hollinghurst and Late Victorian Into Modern (shortlisted for the 2017 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize). She has published in The New York Times, The Guardian, African American Review, Journal of American Studies, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Victorian Literature and Culture.


Name: Making Oscar Wilde
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £7.00
Senior 60+: £8.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Under 18: £7.00
Friend of the British Library: £7.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546