THE OSCAR WILDE SOCIETY
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The Oscar Wilde Society has an exciting and diverse programme of events year round.

The programme of future events, with booking forms, is published in Intentions the Society's Journal/Newsletter which is issued to all members about six times a year.

Intentions also gives accounts of the Society's recent events, illustrated with photographs.

UNVEILING OF PLAQUE AT LANGHAM HOTEL

On Friday 19 March 2010 Gyles Brandreth and the Deputy Mayor of Westminster unveiled a plaque on the wall of the Langham Hotel, London. The plaque commemorates the dinner hosted by the editor of Lippincott's Magazine, J M Stoddart on 30 August 1889. At that dinner Stoddart commissioned The Picture of Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde and The Sign of Four from Arthur Conan Doyle.

The plaque was a joint initiative of the Oscar Wilde Society, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and Westminster Council (click here for photographs).




Events in 2013

A talk by Neil McKenna about his latest book, “Fanny and Stella”

An author’s lunch with Linda Stratmann who talked about her book “The Marquess of Queensberry”

Another successful Oscance at St James’s Church, Paddington

A talk by Michael Seeney on Wilde’s friend More Adey

Summer lunch at Magdalen College with guest speaker Gerard Hanberry

Birthday Dinner with guest speaker John Stokes on "Wilde's Journalism"

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Events in 2012

A talk by Matthew Sturgis – “When in Rome” on Wilde’s relationship with Rome (the talk was printed in The Wildean 41)

A very successful visit to Reading Gaol in June

The guest speaker at our annual summer lunch at Magdalen was Geoff Dibb on Wilde’s lecture tour of the UK

In August we had a walk around Wildean Worthing led by Antony Edmonds

Along with French friends we spent a wonderful (if wet) weekend in Dieppe and Berneval

Our most well attended Birthday Dinner to date was again at the National Liberal Club with Merlin Holland as guest speaker.

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EVENTS IN 2011

A first visit to Wandsworth Prison in March included a tour of the prison's museum.

Franny Moyle, who's recently published biography of Constance Wilde has been well received spoke at "Oscance" in June and at an author's lunch in the same month.

The summer lunch at Magdalen included an exhibition of Wilde and Douglas treasures in the college library, and in August there was a screening of the 1923 silent film of "Salome" in Brighton.

There was a very successful Society visit to Dublin in September where we joined our colleagues from the Dublin Wilde Society.

A first joint event with the Ruskin Society at North Hinksey, with lunch and a talk by Professor Bernard Richards

Our annual Birthday Dinner was held for the first time at the National Liberal Club; guest speaker was Neil Titley

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EVENTS IN 2010

After the unveiling of the plaque the first major event of the year was a Society visit to New York, where members were able to see Wilde manuscripts and memorabilia at Princeton and New York Universities, the Morgan Library and the New York Public Library. In addition, at a dinner at the Grolier Club, we were treated to a fascinating talk by the playwright Moises Kaufman about the writing of his play, "Gross Indecency". In high temperatures we were expertly guided by John Cooper round the buildings of New York that Oscar would have known.

In June the anniversary of the marriage of Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd was again celebrated at St James's Church with a reading in five voices of "The Ballad of Reading Gaol".

We welcomed Gyles Brandreth as guest speaker at our summer lunch at Magdalen College on a typically sunny July day. Patricia Leventon, whose one-woman show about Speranza, Lady Wilde has been well received, spoke about Oscar's mother following our AGM. In October we had a well attended visit to Reading Gaol and the annual Birthday Dinner at which Neil McKenna spoke about Charlie Parker (not the saxophonist)."

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EVENTS IN 2009

Author's Lunch

In February we had the first author's lunch of the year at Greig's Restaurant. Neil McKenna gave some insights into the biographer's art and whetted our appetites for his forthcoming book about the Boulton and Park ("Fanny and Stella") scandal.

Salome

In May we were treated to a rare showing of the 1923 silent film of Salome - conceived by and starring Nazimova - in the splendid surroundings of the Odeon Leicester Square and with a live organ accompaniment by Donald Mackenzie.

Oscance

In June we again celebrated the anniversary of the marriage of Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd at St James's Church. This year included a reading by our patron, Stephen Fry, of Wilde's The Young King.

Chelsea

Also in June we enjoyed a tour of Oscar's Chelsea with Dr Anne Anderson during which we saw how the artistic world of the eighteen eighties and nineties came together in that small area of west London.

Paris

In July, together with the Societe Oscar Wilde en France, we had a most enjoyable weekend in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the reinterment of Oscar Wilde at Pere Lachaise cemetery. The weekend also included a dinner and a performance of Salome.

Magdalen

In August we had our annual luncheon at Wilde's Oxford college, Magdalen. As usual on these occasions it was a gloriously sunny day for the pre-prandial Pimm's in the grounds. Lunch was followed by an entertainment based on the interviews given by Wilde during his lecture tour of America in 1882.

In September, the AGM was followed by a talk by Margaret Stetz on "Wilde's Afterlives - and After"

In October the annual birthday dinner welcomed with our speaker, Simon Wilson talked about Jacob Epstein's designs for the memorial at Wilde's grave in Pere Lachaise.

In November we had a musical evening demonstrating the wide range of musical adaptations of Oscar Wilde's works.

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EVENTS IN 2008

The Resurrection of Oscar Wilde

In February we had one of the Society's popular author's lunches at Rule's Restaurant in Covent Garden. The venue is luxurious and the food and wine most excellent. Julia Wood gave a lively and entertaining talk about her new book, The Resurrection of Oscar Wilde and the writing of it.

Remembering Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel

In April the Society was invited to participate in a 'relaunch' event at the Cadogan Hotel where our Chairman, Don Mead gave a talk about the arrest, recalling the facts and comparing them with the inventive versions in films and plays about Oscar.

Aubrey Beardsley in Brighton

Also in April, Alexia Lazou led a walking tour of the places in Brighton associated with Aubrey Beardsley's early years. His childhood homes, the site of his school, and the church where he worshipped

Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries

In May Gyles Brandreth gave an enormously entertaining talk at another author's lunch at Rule's Restaurant about his series of novels in which Oscar Wilde turns detective to solve some Sherlockian mysteries.

Oscance

In June we celebrated the anniversary of the marriage of Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd at St James's Church, Paddington. This annual celebration is a delightful mix of words, music, food and drink.

Luncheon at Magdalen College

At our annual lunch at Magdalen, on a glorious summer's day, Pimm's was served in Addison's Walk, where Oscar's poem 'Magdalen Walks' was recited. After lunch in the New Room we enjoyed delightful and often moving presentation by Bill Glen-Doepel of twenty of Lord Alfred Douglas's poems.

Annual General Meeting 2008

This was held at the Cadogan Hotel and followed by a fascinating talk by John Stokes called 'Encabsulation: the role of the horse-drawn cab in the literature of the fin-de-siecle'.

Annual Birthday Dinner 2008

At the annual Birthday Dinner, held at Simpson's-in-the-Strand at the weekend closest to Oscar's birthday, our speaker was Oliver Parker, the director of the most recent film adaptations of An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, who discussed his new version of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Author's lunch at Greig's Restaurant

A particularly interesting and popular event was a joint author's lunch in November to celebrate the publication of Thomas Wright's successful exploration of the personality of Oscar Wilde through his reading, Oscar's Books, and the Oscar Wilde Society's publication of Oscar Wilde The Women of Homer edited by Thomas Wright and Donald Mead. Simon Scardifield read extracts from both books.

These events are arranged for members and their guests and details and booking forms are in the Society's Newsletter Intentions.

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EVENTS IN 2007

Art Nouveau in Compton

Oscar Wilde admired 'the glories of the art of George Frederick Watts' including his portraits (one of the best-known being of Lillie Langtry). With Anne Anderson as our expert guide, we visited the Watts Gallery in Compton and gained valuable insights into Wilde's era.

Reading Gaol

Tony Stokes who has assembled an historical archive at Reading Prison has written a comprehensive history: Pit of Shame: The Real Ballad of Reading Gaol. He gave a fascinating talk to the Society at an author's lunch in April.

Oscance Day

In May the Society joined in the commemoration of the anniversary of Oscar and Constance's wedding at St James's Church, Paddington. This annual event is organised in association with the Society, the aim being to build up a Commemoration Fund to construct a substantial memorial within the church building.

Luncheon at Magdalen College

At our annual lunch at Magdalen, Pimm's was served in Addison's Walk and after a convivial lunch in the New Room we enjoyed a talk by Dr John Sloan, author of the Oxford World Classics book Authors in Context: Oscar Wilde, and a special display of items relating to Wilde and Bosie from the College archives.

Annual Birthday Dinner

The annual Birthday Dinner is held at the weekend closest to Oscar's birthday. This year, at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, our speaker was Rick Gekoski, rare book dealer extraordinaire and author of Tolkien's Gown and other stories of great authors and rare books.
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