Cliff House Project

 

Oscar Wilde
 

 

The below (left) story originates from a publication called the "California Wasp", a satirical magazine.  The two
stories on the right are from the original publication, the second one stating that the first was fictitious.  This doesn't
disprove Oscar Wilde ever visited the Cliff House.  He was definitely in San Francisco giving lectures in 1882 as
the many following newspaper stories document, but as yet there is no evidence that he visited the Cliff House.

 

 


Public Ledger - Apr 14, 1882
Fictitious account of a visit from Wasp publication
 

 


Wasp - Mar 31 1882
 

Subsequent retraction...


Wasp - May 5 1882
"none of the imaginary events detailed ever took place"

 

The below articles establish a timeline of his visit...

 


Daily Alta California - 26 March 1882

 


Sacramento Daily Union - 27 March 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 27, 1882                                                                                                                         

 


Daily Alta California - 28 March 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - 28 Mar 1882                                                                                              

 


Oakland Tribune - Mar 28, 1882

 


Sacramento Daily Union - 29 March 1882

 


The Petaluma Courier - Mar 29, 1882

 


Los Angeles Herald - Mar 29, 1882

 


The Record Union - Mar 29, 1882

 


Oakland Tribune - Mar 29, 1882

 


Los Angeles Herald - Mar 30, 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - 30 Mar 1882

 


Oakland Tribune - Mar 30, 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 30, 1882

 


The Record Union - Mar 31, 1882

 


The Los Angeles Times - Mar 31, 1882

 


The Record Union - Apr 1, 1882                                                                                                                          

 


San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 2, 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 3, 1882

 


Los Angeles Herald - Apr 4, 1882

 


The Record Union - Apr 5, 1882

 


San Francisco Chronicle - 06 Apr 1882

 


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 6, 1882

 


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 7, 1882

 


The Placer Herald - Apr 8, 1882

 


 

This story was written 25 years later, but most likely references the initial fictional account...


Oakland Tribune - Sep 15, 1907
 

 

In researching a possible Wilde visit to the Cliff House I discovered an incredible website called Oscar Wilde In America (www.oscarwildeinamerica.org) created by John Cooper.  In our correspondence he offered this thought on the subject ...

"As for Cliff House, while the poker game is unlikely, it’s entirely possible that Wilde visited—he often made a point of seeing local landmarks. Indeed, the emergence of the story somehow makes a visit a little more likely as it could have been the spark for speculation. I suspect if Wilde visited it was not by formal invitation (as we would have heard of that) but that he stopped by while touring. This could have been April 2 when he had a day off and on his way to San Jose. On the other hand, if the incident was meant to be April 3, then Wilde was in San Jose and had to be in Stockton the next day."

-- John Cooper, 3/27/2018