A Birthday Salute to Oscar Wilde


Oscar_Wilde_Sarony“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
— “The Soul of Man Under Socialism” Photo by  Napoleon Sarony

oscar wilde ballad gaol

Ballad of Reading Gaol by C.3.3. Published by London Leonard Smithers 1898, First edition, one of 800 copies printed on handmade paper. Buy.

oscar wilde steadman



Oscar Wilde was our first literary rock star whose work continues to be widely read and his plays regularly produced. His epic 1882 tour of America has been referred to as the birth of celebrity culture in America. His witticism is legendary and his homosexuality was the cause of unfathomable persecution. 

We salute Oscar Wilde for blazing the way on so many fronts.


Portrait by Ralph Steadman. Steel plate etching in an edition of only 20 copies, each SIGNED and numbered by Steadman Buy.


From David M. Friedman’s salute at The Huffington Post:

Decades before Norman Mailer, Wilde knew the value of “advertisements for myself.” Decades before Andy Warhol, he saw the beauty in commerce and the importance of image in marketing.


Decades before Kim Kardashian, he grasped that fame could be fabricated in the media. Decades before TMZ or Us Weekly, Oscar Wilde created celebrity culture


oscar wilde poems

Poems. Published by London: The Chiswick Press for Elkin Matthews & John Lane, 1892. One of 220 copies, signed by Wilde. Bound in 20th-century purple crushed morocco gilt by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Buy.

oscar wilde complete works

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. Patrons Edition De Luxe. Published by New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1923. 12 volumes. Buy.

oscar wilde house of pomegrantes

House of Pomegranates. Illustrated by Jessie King. Published by London Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1915. Four Fairy Tales which were originally told by Wilde to his children. Buy.

oscar wilde salome beardsley

 SalomeA tragedy in one act. Illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, Translated and introduced by R. A. Walker. Published by Heinemann. London. 1957,  The first truly complete edition. Illustrated with decorative title & contents pages, an unused cover design, 14 fine full page plates and 1 vignette by Aubrey Beardsley, including two previously unpublished and one published in its un-expurgated version for for the first time. Buy

oscar wilde dorian gray jim dine

The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lithographs and etchings by Jim Dine. Published by London: Petersburg Press, 1968, edition “C” (the preferred deluxe edition), number 33 of 100 copies ill’d by Jim Dine with 12 original color lithographs + the extra suite of 10 additional color prints: 6 signed lithographs (as in edition A) and 4 signed etchings (as in edition B). Buy.