University of Limerick goes Wilde about Oscar

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Oscar Wilde photographed around the time of his visit to Limerick in 1884
Oscar Wilde photographed around the time of his visit to Limerick in 1884

A UNIVERSITY of Limerick symposium commemorated Oscar Wilde’s 1884 visit to Limerick when he appeared before an audience in the old Theatre Royal on Henry Street.

The event, co-organised by Dr Tina O’Toole and Dr Eoin Devereux (UL) and Dr Kathryn Laing (Mary Immaculate College), focused primarily on Wilde as a public intellectual and cultural critic.

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‘The Importance of Being Wilde’ symposium attracted Wilde experts from all over the world and featured a wide range of papers on Wilde’s contribution to literature, politics and culture.

Dr Devereux commented: ”Wilde was a literary writer, radical thinker, tragic hero, wit and cultural icon all at once. The University of Limerick Symposium aims to contextualize Wilde’s work in relation to other scholars, literary writers, radical ideas, and avant-garde movements of his day.”

On January 8 1884 Oscar Wilde appeared at the old Theatre Royal to deliver a lecture entitled ‘On the House Beautiful’.

According to reports at the time, the event was not well attended and featured a small, select audience.

Wilde appeared onstage again the following night to deliver a talk on ‘Personal Impressions of America’.