OSCAR WILDE ON DRESS
Oscar Wilde (author), John Cooper (author, editor)
Including as a Centerpiece To This New Book
*An Uncovered Work by Oscar Wilde*
In Print for the First Time in 128 Years |
In Book Form for the First Time Ever.
It is rare that an important contribution by a major author goes unrecorded by bibliographers, unrecognized by historians, and ultimately unappreciated by the modern reader. Rarer still if the author is Oscar Wilde, the famous poet, writer, dramatist, and much quoted wit, who has been the subject of continual interest and analysis since his death in 1900.
As an author and personality who is still relevant, a literary industry has built up around Wilde, and hundreds of books have been written about him. His writings continue to undergo scholarly research, so it would be surprising if a central work by Wilde has lain dormant until now. But such has been the fate of his 1885 essay The Philosophy Of Dress.
This work now forms the centerpiece of a unique collection of Wilde’s writings on dress: Oscar Wilde On Dress, edited and written by Wilde scholar, John Cooper.
In addition to the essay there are generously annotated and illustrated chapters that analyze the importance of dress in the historical context of Wilde’s writing career, and a comprehensive review of the influences, trends, characters, and source material that informed the development of Wilde’s dress philosophy. The book also shows how the essay is not only important in itself as a discovery, it is essentially the missing text of Wilde’s lectures on Dress, that were thought to be unrecorded.
As a compendium the book includes several period articles and letters by Wilde on dress and fashion, along with related, but rarely published, correspondence that forms an instructional and entertaining discourse.
The result is a thorough examination of a Wilde’s relationship to dress—a previously overlooked aspect in Wilde studies—which will prove to be of interest not only to Wildean scholars, but also to anyone who enjoys Wilde’s style of writing.
Oscar Wilde continues to be favorably reappraised as a one of the most culturally avant garde tastemakers of the late nineteenth century. In an ever fashion-conscious world it is fitting that the themes explored, like the author himself, are still relevant. In this respect the book will also be of historical value to fashion students, historians, and practitioners, as it includes Wilde’s contribution to the Dress Reform movement, and his relationship to its important figures.