Wilde on Wallpaper

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 30 02:42:11 UTC 2005


On Mon, 28 Nov 2005, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:

> See _Cassell's Humorous Quotations_ (Nigel Rees, 2003):
>
> "This wallpaper'll be the death of me -- one of us'll have to go."
> Quoted in Sherard [R.H. Sherard, _Life of Oscar Wilde_ (1906)]. _Not_ said _in
> extremis_. Another version is that Wilde said to Claire de Pratz: 'My wallpaper
> and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go" -
> reported in Guillot de Saix, 'Souvenirs in├ędits', also in Frank Harris, _Oscar
> Wilde, His Life and Confessions_ (1930).

I find Rees to sometimes be quite unreliable, and this may be an example. 
In a quick look through the Sherard book, I don't see the wallpaper 
anecdote there.

Fred Shapiro


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