ALS To Critic Philip Page - 1940
Autograph Letter Signed “Bosie,” single page, 7 x 9, Sussex, England: June 4, 1940. Fine. To literary critic Philip “Peter” Page regarding Douglas’s poetry. This is a scarce and very desirable autographed letter signed by Lord Alfred Douglas, the intimate companion and lover of the writer Oscar Wilde. This wonderful letter is addressed to literary critic Philip Page (known to his friends as Peter) and comes to us from the estate of American actress Clare Boothe Luce, who was a close friend of Page. Minor cut upper left, minor foxing lower right edge, else fine.
Handwritten on Douglas’s 7″ x 9″ black-bordered personal letterhead (mourning stationery honoring his beloved mother, Sibyl, who died in 1935), the letter reads:
June 4, 1940
I discovered a day or two ago that the 2 last stanzas of my poem “The Seller of the Pass” (Lyrics p. 88), though written more than 20 years ago, are most astonishingly applicable to the treachery of Leopold, King of the Belgians. I send them herewith with a slight alteration (“who” instead of “whose”) in the fifth line of the first stanza. Would the Daily Mail publish them?
p.s. I was sorry to miss you when I called in London a week or two ago.
Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas
LORD ALFRED BRUCE DOUGLAS (1870-1945), was a British writer who first came to prominence in the 1890s as the young intimate companion of Oscar Wilde. After Douglas’ father, the 9th Marquess of Queensbury, publicly accused Wilde of sodomy, Wilde filed the libel lawsuit that led to his own conviction and two-year prison term for indulging in “the love that dare not speak its name.”
During the later part of 1897, Wilde and Douglas lived together near Naples, but for financial and other reasons, they separated. Wilde lived the remainder of his life primarily in Paris, and Douglas returned to England in late 1898. Douglas published several volumes of poetry, two books about his relationship with Wilde, and an autobiography.
Douglas in any form is quite rare, and with its association to Bosie’s friend the literary critic Philip Page, makes this fine letter a perfect collectible for fans of Oscar Wilde.
Accompanied by adjoining cut sections of an aged vintage newspaper clipping from The (London) Daily Mail dated July 4, 1941, of the published poem “Winston Churchill” by Lord Alfred Douglas, with notations in green ink beneath reading “P Page, affection, reconciliation.” Reverse side of the clipping features a story on the historic Nazi surrender of Palmyra to British forces.
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