Oscar Wilde Society and NLC Irish Circle
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wilde and his Irish connections.
When Henry James met Oscar Wilde in Washington in 1882, he confessed to the young Irish man who was causing such a stir in America, that he was “nostalgic for London.” “Really?” Wilde replied. “You care for places? The world is my home.” Oscar Wilde was an internationalist who valued the richness of diversity, language and culture. Yet, as George Bernard Shaw remarked so astutely: “It must not be forgotten that though by culture Wilde was a citizen of all civilised capitals, he was at root a very Irish Irishman, and, as such, a foreigner everywhere but in Ireland.” Wilde spent most of his adult life in England and produced all but his earliest poetry there. After he was released from prison, in 1887, he retreated into self imposed exile in France. Yet Ireland was his birthplace, his touchstone, and his home during his formative years. So just how Irish was Oscar Wilde? How did his nationality inform his ideas and output? How embedded was he, if at all, in the vibrant Irish community of artists, thinkers and writers who called London home during the 1880s and 1890s?
Eleanor Fitzsimons is a writer and researcher who lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her biography Wilde’s Women: How Oscar Wilde was shaped by the women he knew (Duckworth, 2015) was widely and favourably reviewed. Eleanor is an honorary patron of the Oscar Wilde Society and a member of the editorial board of society journal The Wildean. She has worked as a television researcher for the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ, and was a contributor to BBC documentary The Importance of Being Oscar, first broadcast on BBC2 in April 2019.
£32.50 – includes talk and two-course dinner
Talk – FREE
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Meeting ID: 818 6287 6069