Oscar Wilde’s West

By Jan Wellington

Of the countless stories, novels, and plays inspired by and featuring Oscar Wilde, a significant number bear the title, "The Wilde West."  One of these--a 1988 farce by Charles Marowitz--is set in Leadville, Colorado, during Wilde's lecture tour of North America in 1882. In it, Wilde appears for his lecture in a saloon, only to find it occupied by the trial of a handsome young bank robber--a member of Jesse James gang.  Wilde, turned lawyer, successfully defends the guilty thief while Belle Starr and outlaw Jesse debate the relative merits of their autobiographies.  In his...

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