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Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Forgeries MS. Wilde Forgeries
MS. Wilde Forgeries  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Provenance
  • Restrictions on Use
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Note
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: UCLA. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Title: Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Forgeries
    creator: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
    source: Hodges, Figgis & Co.
    Identifier/Call Number: MS. Wilde Forgeries
    Physical Description: 1.0 Linear feet 2 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1957
    Abstract: This finding aid describes manuscript items that are confirmed or probable forgeries of Oscar Wilde's work and correspondence.
    Physical Location of Materials: Clark Library.


    A more complete version of this finding aid is available on the Clark's ArchivesSpace site . It includes 3 series that are not represented here.


    The materials in Series 1 of this finding aid were acquired in 1957 (MS.1957.007) from bookseller G.F. Sims, who in turn had purchased them from Dublin booksellers Hodges Figgis and Co. In 1921, William Figgis had purchased several Wilde manuscripts from someone posing as French writer Andre Gide, but soon realized that these items were actually forgeries and had no connection to the actual Andre Gide. Figgis met in Paris with an agent of "Gide's" who went by the name Dorian Hope, but whose real identity is unknown. Though Wilde's son Vyvyan Holland thought that Dorian Hope was his cousin Fabian Lloyd, Lloyd is presumed to have died in Mexico in 1918.

    Restrictions on Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
    For additional copyright information related to Oscar Wilde, contact Merlin Holland (email: merlin.holland[at]wanadoo.fr).

    Alternate Forms Available

    Portions of the collection are available on microfilm.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item, subseries and series], Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection: Forgeries. Williams Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Processing Note

    In 1957, a printed catalog of all Wilde-related works then owned by the Clark Library (approximately 2900 items) was compiled by John Charles Finzi and published as Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle by the University of California Press. Over the course of the next four decades, many new Clark acquisitions were added to the collection and approximately one-third of the collection was microfilmed at least once.
    In 2000, the first version of the Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle online finding aid, which described all archival materials in the Clark collections related to Wilde and his circle was written and encoded in EAD by John Howard Fowler. In 2009, this original finding aid was separated into several parts, edited and re-encoded by Rebecca Fenning in order to make its very large size (over 1000 pages) and scope more manageable for researchers. Instead of one guide describing the entire collection, there are now 5 more easily navigated guides devoted to different components of the collection.

    Biographical Note

    Oscar Wilde was born Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde in Dublin, Ireland, October 16, 1854. He attended Trinity College and Magdalen College, Oxford, winning the Newdigate prize in 1878 for the poem Ravenna. He subsequently established himself in London society as a champion of the new Aesthetic movement, advocating "art for art's sake," and publishing reviews and his Poems (1881). After being satirized (and made famous) as Bunthorne, the fleshly aesthetic poet in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience, he made a year-long lecture tour of the United States, speaking on literature and the decorative arts. After his return to London, he married Constance Lloyd in 1884; they had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan Holland. In 1891 he met and began a love affair with the handsome but temperamental poet, Lord Alfred Douglas.
    The 1890s saw both Wilde's greatest literary triumphs and his tragic downfall. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, appeared in 1891. The most famous of his witty social comedies-- Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)--were written and produced for the London stage. But in 1895, after becoming entangled in an unsuccessful libel suit against Douglas's father, Wilde was prosecuted for homosexuality. Convicted, he was sentenced to two years' hard labor.
    While in prison, Wilde wrote De Profundis, a letter to Douglas, and after his release, he published the long poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898). But despite these final works, his career was essentially over. Bankrupt and in exile, his health ruined in prison, he died in Paris in 1900.

    Scope and Content

    The Forgeries finding aid describes manuscript items in the Clark Library collection that have been confirmed as forgeries, or which are strongly suspected of being forgeries of Oscar Wilde's work.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Literary forgeries and mystifications
    William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
    Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Forgeries
    Hodges, Figgis & Co.
    Millard, Christopher, 1872-1927