Oscar Wilde was an old comrade-in-arms of the British operetta writers Gilbert and Sullivan (their impressario RichardD’Oyly Carte had organised Wilde’s 1881 lecture tour of the USA). Sullivan was a shareholder of the new Savoy Hotel in London, built and inititated by D’Oyly Carte. Of course one wnated to have Wilde as a patron at the Savoy. Wilde, as author and wit the inventor of today’s ‘beautiful people’, was a much-desired all-purpose party guest. His connection with the hotel was as spectacular as his scandalous fate.
Oscar Wilde and his friend Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas
Wilde, who gave us such delightful plays as The Importance of being Earnest and a good two pages in any reputable dictionary of quotations, stayed at The Savoy in March 1893. While everybody else was totally taken with the hotel’s modern techniques and features, Wilde scorned the idea of plumbed-in washstands with running cold and hot water: ‘What is it good for? If I want hot water, I call for it.’
His homosexual affair with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas brought his flamboyant lifestyle at The Savoy to a bitter end. He had taken adjoining rooms on the third floor for himself and Lord Douglas. After a ‘wilde’ time, Douglas left the hotel and Wilde moved into a suite overlooking the river. He then wrote to Douglas: ‘Dearest of Boys, Your letter was delightful, red and yellow wine to me; but I am sad and out of sorts. I must see you soon. You are the divine thing I want, the thing of grace and beauty. My bill here is £49 for a week. I fear I must leave—no money, no credit, and a heart of lead.’
Bosie’s father took his son’s homosexual relations with Wilde as a personal affront and instituted legal proceedings. In one of the most sensational trials of the 19 century, Oscar Wilde was charged in 1895 with committing acts of ‘gross indecency’ with a string of young men. A handful of Savoy employees were among the key witnesses for the prosecution.
Wilde was found guilty and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. Thus, the hotel lost one of its most flamboyant guests. After his release from prison, Wilde left England and wandered around Europe for what were to be the last three years of his life. He died in 1900, at another hotel, the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris.
This - his last - hotel stay brought us his famous comment: “This wallpaper will be the death of me: one of us will have to go.”
I’m willing to go out on a limb here and guess that most stories of kindness do not begin with drug addicted celebrity bad boys.
His name is Robert Downey Jr.
You’ve probably heard of him. You may or may not be a fan, but I am, and I was in the early 90’s when this story takes place.
It was at a garden party for the ACLU of Southern California. My stepmother was the executive director, which is why I was in attendance without having to pay the $150 fee. It’s not that I don’t support the ACLU, it’s that I was barely twenty and had no money to speak of.
"Today is your day. You're off to Great Places!You're off and away!You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourselfany direction you choose.You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go." I love you.
“By not trying to [top it]. By being smaller. More personal, more painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself. I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them flawed, what makes them fight — and ultimately, what makes them awesome. I go to these movies for those moments when the heroes define themselves, either through action or deliciously overwritten speeches.”—
Joss Whedon on what he would do if he were to direct the sequel to The Avengers
Because of the idea that posting this in public will keep me accountable…
Week of 5/28-6/2 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (complete works) Beowulf* Getting Things Done
Week of 6/4-5/14 The Pirate (not the romance novel) Robin Hood* War Horse
Week of 6/11-6/16 Moneyball King Arthur* Water for Elephants
Week of 6/18-6/23 A Tale of Two Cities The Odyssey* Black Like Me
Week of 6/25-6/30 Harry Potter reread week
Week of 7/2-7/7 Moby Dick
Week of 7/16-7/21 Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (released the week before) Anna Karenina
Yeap. A lot of these are books that I have already had since forever but, for one reason or another, just haven’t read or haven’t finished. So really this summer is more like a much needed spring cleaning of my shelf.
*Lexi gave me a book that has all these short stories in it. I figured they would be a good break between the longer stories. Plus, I’m really excited to read the full versions and not just the bits and pieces you get from a high school literature class.
Surprisingly, the only qualm I have with this is the part where you read Moby Dick in a week. Maybe you can just skip some chapters…
Also I really want to read Black Like Me. And Invisible Man. Aaand Toni Morrison. Hmmm maybe July can be AALit month for me. Stay tuned for updates. (This is totally not happening; I have too much education backlog to read. But humor me.)
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte Harry Potter series - JK Rowling To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee The Bible Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman Great Expectations - Charles Dickens Little Women - Louisa M Alcott Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy Catch 22 - Joseph Heller Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger Middlemarch - George Eliot Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald Bleak House - Charles Dickens War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy David Copperfield - Charles Dickens Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis Emma - Jane Austen Persuasion - Jane Austen The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne Animal Farm - George Orwell The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood Lord of the Flies - William Golding Atonement - Ian McEwan Life of Pi - Yann Martel Dune - Frank Herbert Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens Brave New World - Aldous Huxley The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov The Secret History - Donna Tartt The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas On The Road - Jack Kerouac Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie Moby Dick - Herman Melville Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens Dracula - Bram Stoker (ugh) The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson Ulysses - James Joyce The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (I tried but it honestly made me depressed and I had to quit) Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome Germinal - Emile Zola Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray Possession - AS Byatt A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell The Color Purple - Alice Walker The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry Charlotte’s Web - EB White The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks Watership Down - Richard Adams A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas Hamlet - William Shakespeare Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl Les Miserables - Victor Hugo