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Arriving at the port of New York in 1882, a 27-year-old Oscar Wilde quipped he had “nothing to declare but my genius.” But as Roy Morris, Jr., reveals in this sparkling narrative, Wilde was, for the first time in his life, underselling himself. A chronicle of the sensation that was Wilde’s eleven-month speaking tour of America, Declaring His Genius offers an indelible portrait of both Oscar Wilde and the Gilded Age.
Wilde covered 15,000 miles, delivered 140 lectures, and met everyone who was anyone. Dressed in satin knee britches and black silk stockings, the long-haired apostle of the British Aesthetic Movement alternately shocked, entertained, and enlightened a spellbound nation. Harvard students attending one of his lectures sported Wildean costume, clutching sunflowers and affecting world-weary poses. Denver prostitutes enticed customers by crying: “We know what makes a cat wild, but what makes Oscar Wilde?” Whitman hoisted a glass to his health, while Ambrose Bierce denounced him as a fraud.
Wilde helped alter the way post–Civil War Americans—still reeling from the most destructive conflict in their history—understood themselves. In an era that saw rapid technological changes, social upheaval, and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, he delivered a powerful anti-materialistic message about art and the need for beauty. Yet Wilde too was changed by his tour. Having conquered America, a savvier, more mature writer was ready to take on the rest of the world. Neither Wilde nor America would ever be the same.
About the Author: Roy Morris, Jr., is the author of numerous books, including Lighting Out for the Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain.
Title: Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North ...
Publisher: Belknap Press
Publication Date: 2013
Book Condition: Used: Very Good
Book Description Belknap Press, 2013. Book Condition: Good. 1st. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP70844274
Book Description Belknap Press, 2013. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP78282665
Book Description Belknap Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, thatâ€™ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Bookseller Inventory # 2765935553
Book Description Harvard University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0674066960I3N00
Book Description Harvard University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Bookseller Inventory # G0674066960I4N00
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Copy is solid with dust jacket, has markings, has some mild reading wear. We take great pride in accurately describing the condition of our books, ship within 48 hours and offer a 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 1M5CER00068C
Book Description Belknap Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. isbn matches like new hardcover with jacket Fast service with confirmation, no international or priority orders over 4lbs. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000107340
Book Description Belknap Press, 2013. Hardcover with dust jacket. VG/VG. Very good. 248 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 443908
Book Description BELKNAP PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. HARDCOVER Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Humanities>Literary Criticism>General. Book: USED, Good. Dust Jacket: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 01978067406696001. Bookseller Inventory # 01978067406696001
Book Description Belknap Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0674066960 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 306.H7