Wilde, Oscar (1854 – 1900)

Wilde hopes to stage Lady Windermere’s Fan or A Woman of No Importance in Germany

A fine four-page autograph letter signed by Oscar Wilde, on two adjoining sheets, Albemarle Club letterhead, no date but circa 1893–1894. The author writes a letter concerning the production of his plays in Germany.

In full: ‘My plays can be got from John Lane, Bodley Head, Vigo Street, W. London. They cost I believe 7/6 each—One is Lady Windermere’s Fan, the other A Woman of No Importance—you are at perfect liberty to translate them & publish them — Dr. Oskar Blumenthal, director of the Lessing Theatre Berlin asked me three years ago of the right to produce Lady Windermere which I gave him, but he has not produced it — so you can produce it & the other if you like — but I w’d advise you to write in regard to Lady Windermere to Dr. Blumenthal first — as regards fees — let us share equally, if you think that fair — I do.’

In fine condition, with toning along the top edge of the first page. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Wilde’s own hand.

In 1892, Wilde had drawn up a contract with German playwright and theatre director Oscar Blumenthal for the sole right of production of Lady Windermere’s Fan in Austria and Germany, under the same terms proposed here — half of all fees and other royalties. It had not been staged by the time of this letter, and Wilde was open to exploring other possibilities for translating and staging his society comedies. Despite his interest in potential German productions, it would not be until September 4, 1903, that A Woman of No Importance debuted in Germany, at the Neues Theater in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt.