The Oscar Wilde
Luxury…that dares to speak its name!
Next Tour: October 2017
Dedicated to our patron spirit, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, this tour is the most special and exclusive of all our company’s offerings. With the elegance of a gay cruise and the cultural elevation of an Ivy League alumni tour, it is the trip of a lifetime for connoisseurs of history, art and (let’s be frank) luxury.
The tour follows Wilde’s life from his birthplace in Dublin to his tomb in Paris’ Père Lachaise cemetery. Two days in the Irish capital let us explore his early life, against the backdrop of Irish history. Another day in Oxford showcases his student years, when he formed his interest in the Classical world, and his sparkling wit began to blossom. Three days each in London and Paris round out his complex and ultimately tragic story—the trajectory from family man, to playwright, to toast of London society, followed by the scandal of his sexual life, imprisonment and finally exile and death in the French capital.
While our focus is Wilde, we will use his life to examine the culture of his times as well, including attitudes to same-sex love from which only today we are breaking free. We will also explore the “Wilde revival” in Europe’s gay and Bohemian life, from Bloomsbury to pre-WWII Paris, and contrast the relaxed attitude to sexuality in France with the more rigid moralism of Victorian Britain.
Only the very best…
As Wilde once famously said, “Let me be surrounded by luxury—I can do without the necessities!” This attitude informs our tour—as we offer you only the very best in cultural travel. Drawing on Professor Lear’s extensive academic and tour industry networks, we arrange a series of exclusive events that no other tour can replicate:
- Visits to rarely seen and fascinating places—many of them not open to the public—such as Wilde’s college at Oxford, where during our private tour we view the college’s archive of Wildeana and have afternoon tea in his rooms.
- Lectures by leading Wilde scholars from Ireland, England, and France, as well as renowned biographers and leading performers of his work. Listen to the insights of leading Wildeans, and chat with them over tea or champagne!
- Receptions and meals in famous places from the Wilde story, including a restaurant where he entertained rent boys, the café where he met Bosie’s father (the man who ruined his life), and his favorite haunts in Paris.
Life imitating art…
And, of course, in keeping with Wilde’s love of luxury, this tour stays in a series of splendid five-star hotels, each chosen for its combination of historic charm and modern luxury. Our restaurants are also chosen with the greatest care: for Wildean connections, Victorian grandeur and excellent cuisine.
In short—though we say it ourselves—this tour is a work of art. Arranging it is so complicated that we can only offer it once every few years: last given in 2014, it is next scheduled for 2017. For lovers of art, culture, literature and the magnificent Belle Epoque, it is an opportunity not to be overlooked. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest: “To miss one Wilde Celebration Tour may be regarded as a misfortune; to miss both looks like carelessness.”
To learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646)560-3205.
Group Size: Maximum 18
Single Supplement may apply