Recollections of Oscar Wilde, By Charles Ricketts


Click to follow

An illustrator of Wilde, Ricketts produced this fragmentary memoir at the end of his life. Published by the Nonesuch Press in 1932 with a cover by Ricketts and design by Francis Meynell, it has been reproduced for the first time. A few epigrams glitter: "Have you noticed how annoyed pigs become if you do not cast pearls before them."

Wilde is described in a palpably real London: "We waited near a shop with sausage rolls and pork pies. Wilde said, 'What curious things people will eat... I suppose they must be hungry!'"

Though Ricketts slams Morris and Meredith for not supporting Wilde, he seems self-absorbed. According to Wilde, his visit to Reading Gaol was not a success. This evocative work will be a vital buy for Oscar completists.