28 November 2022 / Books

Constance Wilde’s Autograph Book

In 1886, just two years after her marriage to Oscar, Constance Wilde started her own autograph book. On the pages of this little volume, she collected drawings, scores of music and ‘specimens of writing’ from some of the leading authors, artists, statesmen, actors and actresses as well as musicians, social activists and spiritualists of the age.

Following Oscar’s arrest and imprisonment in 1895, Constance fled into exile where she died in 1898 and her autograph book disappeared from sight for over a century until it was bequeathed to the British Library in 2003. Thanks to the support of modern-day collector Joan Winchell, readers will now be able to enjoy their own privileged access to this ‘unique gathering of notable men and women’.

A facsimile reproduction of each page of Constance Wilde’s autograph book with a transcript and notes on the facing page:

Features a range of notable theatre personalities of the age including including Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, Johnson Forbes-Robertson, Mary Anderson, and Sarah Bernhardt
An introduction by Devon Cox explaining the significance of the book and Constance’s personal selections of contributors
Biographical notes about the sixty-four signatories
Illustrated throughout with colour and black-and-white images, some full-page
A table of signatories with the dates of the signatures, where known
Notes and bibliography


Price: £25 (plus postage)
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