Wilde in the Market Place

Published: January 3, 2013

Please join us on Thursday, January 31st at 4pm for 2013’s Clark Lecture on Oscar Wilde, which will feature Rick Gekoski speaking on “Oscar Wilde in the Marketplace.”

From the very start of his career, Oscar Wilde wanted to be noticed. He was the leading literary celebrity of his day, honed his epigrams, and ensured that his books were issued in beautiful limited editions, which would be attractive to collectors. Following his death an enormous market in Wilde books, manuscripts, letters and memorabilia developed, and a number of unscrupulous forgers took advantage of the burgeoning market for Wilde items. In the 1920s and 1930s a number of major collections were formed, of which William A. Clark, Jr’s holdings were the most significant. Oscar is still avidly sought after, and, as a rare book dealer, Dr. Gekoski has been able to help several collectors put together noteworthy collections.

Dr. Rick Gekoski is one of the world’s leading bookmen: a writer, rare-book dealer, broadcaster and teacher. He is the author of three books which trace his major enthusiasms, Staying Up: A Fan’s View of a Season in the PremiershipTolkien’s Gown and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books and Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir, as well as a critical study of Joseph Conrad and a bibliography of William Golding. An American who left for England in 1966, he was for some years a member of the English Department at the University of Warwick, and chair of their Faculty of Arts. He has established two private presses, The Sixth Chamber Press and The Bridgewater Press, which issue finely printed editions of leading writers, novelists and poets. As a broadcaster, he has written and delivered two series for BBC Radio 4: Rare Books, Rare People and Lost, Stolen, or Shredded: The History of Some Missing Works of Art.

This biennial lecture on Oscar Wilde is made possible by a generous endowment founded by Mr. William Zachs.

Please register for this free event at the website for the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies.

Oscar Wilde by Frank Miles
Oscar Wilde by Frank Miles

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