Essays and Lectures

by Oscar Wilde
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Publisher: Oscar Wilde

Publication Date: April 14, 2016

ISBN: 9786050419719

Binding: Kobo eBook

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With the exception of the Poems in Prose this volume does not contain anything which the author ever contemplated reprinting. The Rise of Historical Criticism is interesting to admirers of his work, however, because it shows the development of his style and the wide intellectual range distinguishing the least borné of all the late Victorian writers, with the possible exception of Ruskin. It belongs to Wilde’s Oxford days when he was the unsuccessful competitor for the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize. Perhaps Magdalen, which has never forgiven herself for nurturing the author of Ravenna, may be felicitated on having escaped the further intolerable honour that she might have suffered by seeing crowned again with paltry academic parsley the most highly gifted of all her children in the last century.
Of the lectures, I have only included those which exist, so far as I know, in manuscript; the reports of others in contemporary newspapers being untrustworthy. They were usually delivered from notes and were repeated at various towns in England and America. Here will be found the origin of Whistler’s charges of plagiarism against the author. How far they are justified the reader can decide for himself, Wilde always admitted that, relying on an old and intimate friendship, he asked the artist’s assistance on one occasion for a lecture he had failed to prepare in time.