Wilde love letters for sale

A NEWLY publicised collection of love letters written by Oscar Wilde to a magazine editor are expected to fetch £10,000 (€12,000) when they come up for auction in England next Friday.

The Irish poet wrote the letters to fellow editor Alsager Vian of the Court & Society Review while he himself was writing for and editing Society Magazines in London.

While the four pages are undated, the postmark on the envelope shows they were written in 1887, according to auctioneers, Bamfords of Derby.

The letters are written eight years before Wilde was imprisoned in Reading Gaol for gross indecency with the son of a lord.

Initially the main content relates to normal correspondence which would take place between an editor and his writers. As the correspondence continues, it is clear he has an affection for the recipient of the letters.

“Come and dine at Pagani’s in Portland Street on Friday 7.30pm,” he writes. “No dress, just ourselves and a flask of Italian wine. Afterwards we will smoke cigarettes and Talk over the Journalistic article, could we go to your rooms, I am so far off, and clubs are difficult to Talk in. Till Thursday night. This is all wrong, isn’t it. Truly yours, Oscar Wilde.”

In 1895 Wilde and Alfred Taylor were convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. He was released in 1897 and left England the next day for the continent.


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