“Sonnet like allusions are made to your gilt silk hair”


Next week, 600,000 pages of manuscripts, letters, drafts and journals will be put online from canonical British authors like Oscar Wilde, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and others. Included will be correspondence between Wilde and many of his lovers, including Lord Alfred Douglas, or “Bosie.” The Marquis of Queensbury, Bosie’s father, despised Wilde, and Wilde ended up in prison for two years because of legal turmoil stemming from the relationship. Despite the depressing backstory, these letters made me happy, so I thought I’d post part of one below the fold (from the Guardian.)

“My own dear boy – It’s really absurd – I can’t live without you – you are so dear, so wonderful – I think of you all day long – and miss your grace, your boyish beauty, the … sword play of your wit, the delicate fancy of your genius so surprising… London is a desert without your dainty feet … take all my love – now and for ever, always and with devotion – but I have no words for how I love you – Oscar.”

Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →