On 21 October, The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a reception hosted by Gyles Brandreth to mark the anniversary of the author’s birth at The Langham in London.
Mr Brandeth is President of The Oscar Wilde Society. Founded in September 1990, by a group of fans of Wilde and his work, it is a non-profit organisation that aims to increase knowledge, enjoyment and study of Wilde’s life, personality and works. It organises lectures, readings and discussions, as well as visits to places connected with him.
Some of the Honourary Patrons of the Society include Wilde’s only grandson, Merlin Holland who writes, lectures, and broadcasts on his grandfather’s life and works as well as Stephen Fry who portrayed Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde
Camilla is a keen reader and undertakes many engagements promoting the importance of literacy and literature. This past week, the royal reader presented the 2015 Man Booker Award to Jamaican author Marlon James during the annual awards ceremony.
The annual reception always takes place on Oscar Wilde’s birthday, this year its falls on the 161st anniversary of the author’s birth. During the reception, The Duchess will unveil a bronze of Oscar Wilde made by British sculptor, James Matthews. Camilla will also meet guests and members of the Oscar Wilde Society, including his grandson Merlin Holland.
The Duchess’s great-grandfather, Alexander Faulkner Shand (1858 – 1936) was briefly engaged to Constance Lloyd, who went on to marry Oscar Wilde.
2015 is not only the 161st anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birth but also the 120th anniversary of his 1895 trial and the 125th anniversary of his only full-length novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Gyles Brandreth hosts this annual reception in venues related to the author. One such reception was held at the Cadogan Hotel, where Oscar Wilde was arrested in 1895.
The Langham London was chosen this year as Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle met there for the first time in 1889 with an American publisher; J.M Stoddart. It was this meeting that led to the publication of both Sherlock Holmes, and The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1890.
Featured Photo Credit: Andy Gott via Flickr
Photo credits: Delany Dean via Flickr and © Cindy Stockman 2015