Oscar Wilde Lovely ALS
1p handwritten note inscribed overall and signed by Irish writer Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) as "Oscar Wilde" along the bottom edge of a cream stock card embossed "Keats House, / Tite Street, Chelsea" in the upper right corner. Written at Keats House, then at No. 1 (and now at No. 44) Tite Street, Chelsea, England on an unknown date. Expected wear including light paper folds and wrinkles. A few professional repairs, else near fine. 4.5" x 3.5".
"Dear Mrs. Simpson,
It will give me much pleasure to dine with you on the 17th inst.
Yours very truly
Keats House was the residence that Wilde shared with friend and socialite portrait artist Frank Miles (1852-1891). Wilde's naming of the city rowhouse after his favorite Romantic poet was just one of the ways the aspiring writer paid homage to John Keats, his literary hero. In 1881, Wilde published his poem "The Grave of Keats" and even lobbied to have the poet's funeral monument replaced. He weighed in on Keats's biographers, and purchased Keats's love letters to Fanny Brawne at auction. While in the United States in 1882, Wilde visited Keats's American niece in Louisville, Kentucky.
Wilde's correspondent "Mrs. Simpson" almost certainly referred to Mary Charlotte Mair (M.C.M.) Simpson nee Senior (1825-1907), the daughter of well-known British solicitor and economist Nassau William Senior (1790-1864). Her father's circle of intimates included some of the leading figures of the day, providing Simpson with fodder she later used as a writer. Her Many Memories of Many People (1898) provided personal anecdotes of her friendship with Queen Victoria as a child, for example. It's possible that Wilde knew Simpson through their work on The Woman's World, a Victorian periodical. Simpson was a contributor of the journal, and Wilde was its editor between 1887-1889.
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