The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde caused a furor in the British press when it appeared in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Hostile critics recoiled from what they sensed was its homoerotic theme. One newspaper, Scots Observer, insinuated that the story was as despicable as the Cleveland Street scandal, which had recently exposed the exploitation of telegraph messenger-boys who had offered sexual services to titled gentlemen at a male brothel in Central London. The typescript held by the Clark reveals the careful manner in which Wilde, along with his editors at Lippincott’s in Philadelphia, revised sexually-sensitive phrasing.

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