Wilde, Oscar. (1854–1900): "The secret of life is in art" - Autograph Quotation, signed in Brooklyn
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Autograph signed quotation from the Irish writer and leader of the Aesthetic Movement, who has inscribed and signed "The secret of / life is in art. / Oscar Wilde / Brooklyn / Feb. '82" to an autograph album leaf, presented here handsomely matted together with a period halftone portrait photograph. Autograph quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet ("A King of Shreds and Patches") in an unidentified hand to verso of album leaf, dated March 18, 1882. Mild toning and foxing and slight show-through from verso, with small loss to the lower margin of the album leaf; else fine. Leaf 5.15 x 7.6 inches (13 x 19.3 cm.); overall 14.5 x 10.1 inches (36.8 x 25.6 cm.).
In 1882, Wilde undertook a year-long lecture tour of the United States and Canada, during which he gave approximately 141 lectures - the exact itinerary has never been agreed upon. On his return he generated further revenue from the experience by presenting his American impressions to the English, 'a mixed bag of comments on scenery, people, art, theatre, done with great wit.' (Richard Ellman) On Feb 3, he spoke to an audience of about 1,800 persons in the Brooklyn Academy of Music on "The English Renaissance."