Autograph letter signed (“Oscar Wilde”), 4 pages (9 x 5 3/4 in.; 228 x 145 mm), [Topeka, Kansas], 20 April 1882, to “My Dear Sir” in Topeka; in brown ink on two sheets of printed stationery from the Withnell House hotel in Omaha, the two sheets hinged together, lightly and evenly faded from once being matted, neat mends at eight slight fold tears at edges; with typed transcript. Red half morocco slipcase; spine scuffed.
With: [Wilde]. A fine sepia tall cabinet-card albumen portrait photograph of Oscar Wilde, nearly full-length, posed in overcoat with fur trim and fur hat (7 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.; 188 x 98 mm), mounted on card with the imprint of N. Sarony, 37 Union Square, New York, copyright 1882. Shortly after arriving in New York from England (on 2 January 1882) Wilde visited the studio of Napoleon Sarony, one of the leading commercial photographers in the city. Sarony took some twenty different poses of Wilde (this one is marked “No. 3"), the photographs to be used during his lecture tour. In slipcase with above letter.
In a letter of the same day to a friend back in England, Wilde wrote: “The local [Topeka] poet has just called on me with his masterpiece, a sanguinary lyric of 3000 lines on the Civil War. The most impassioned part begins thus: ‘Here Mayor Simpson battled bravely with his Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry.’ What am I to do?” (The Letters of Oscar Wilde, ed. R. Hart-David, p. 114).