ENG 35200: Oscar Wilde

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Selected Subject Searches

Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Aesthetics
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Biography
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Criticism and interpretation
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Influence
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Political and social views
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900--Trials, litigation, etc
Douglas, Alfred Bruce, Lord, 1870-1945
Queensberry, John Sholto Douglas, Marquis of, 1844-1900
Trials (Libel)--England--London--History--19th century

Aestheticism (Literature)
Art for art\'s sake (Movement)
Aesthetics, British--19th century
Decadence (Literary movement)
Decadence (Literary movement)--England
Dandies--Great Britain--19th century--Exhibitions

English drama--19th century--History and criticism
Theater--England--History--19th century
Theater--England--London--History--19th century
Theater--Great Britain--History--19th century
English poetry--19th century--History and criticism
English fiction--19th century--History and criticism
English literature--19th century--History and criticism
Authors, Irish--19th century--Biography

Homosexuality and literature--Great Britain--History--19th century
Gay men\'s writings, English--History and criticism
Homosexuality--Great Britain--History--19th century--Sources
Homosexuality--Law and legislation--Great Britain--History--19th century

Literature and society--Great Britain--History--19th century
Great Britain--Civilization--19th century
Great Britain--Civilization--19th century--Encyclopedias
Popular culture--Great Britain--History--19th century
Great Britain--Social conditions--19th century
Great Britain--History--Victoria, 1837-1901
England--Social life and customs--19th century
London (England)--Social life and customs--19th century
London (England)--Intellectual life--19th century

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

     MLA International Bibliography  provides the most complete and fully indexed coverage of articles and books on modern literatures, linguistics, folklore, rhetoric, and composition from 1925 to the present. There is ample full text provided by ProQuest, as well as links to full-text articles in JSTOR and Project Muse. Full text from other IC databases is also readily available via the "GetIt" links below article citations.
     Because books, book chapters/essays, and dissertations will usually not be available full text, you may wish to limit your search to "Journal article" under "Source type."
     "Author's Work" and "Author as Subject" will be especially helpful search fields at finding literary criticism. And for additional search field options either click on "Show more fields," or, for the complete list, open the drop-down menus to the right of the "Anywhere" default for the top three rows of search slots. This list includes both "Literary Influence"--who influenced a particular author you have entered--and "Literary Source"--who was influenced by that particular author.
     JSTOR  has excellent 100% full-text coverage of literary scholarship. There is no Subject searching, so remember to put titles and authors' names in quotation marks to search them as Keyword phrases--and leave authors' names in the normal first-name last-name order. Set "Limit" to "Article"--or else you may unleash an avalanche of reviews of books on your topic.
     JSTOR access to journal articles begins 2-4 years prior to the present--so don't look for any criticism from the last couple of years--but coverage always extends back to the first issue of each journal--in some cases into the 19th century and beyond. This allows you, for instance, to retrieve articles referring to or discussing Oscar Wilde all the way back to 1880.. Set the date range "Limit" below the search slots to target an era. In the case of Wilde, this might allow you to perceive changes in public opinion and critical reception decade by decade.

    Project Muse , although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR.  LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse offers a basic keyword search (be sure to put the titles of literary works in quotation marks).  Once you've retrieved a set of articles you can sort them into broad categories using the Research Area options on the left.  
    Note: Checking the "Articles" box under Content Type before you run a search will eliminate reviews of books about your topic and leave you with just the articles on your topic.

     ProQuest Research LibraryAcademic Search Premier  are comprehensive databases  and include considerable literary criticism--much of it full text. In running searches on authors, don't settle for a Keyword search on the author's name, as this will retrieve too many articles in which the author is only mentioned in passing. Instead use the specialized Subject search each provides. In ProQest enter the name, last name first, in the "Person" slot. In Academic Search Premier open the "Select a Field" drop down menu and search the name, last name first, in the "People" field.
     In both databases the titles of literary works must be searched as Keyword phrases, so be sure to put them in quotation marks.
     In both databases you can set a "Document Type" limit and choose "Book review" or, if it's a contemporary writer, "Interview." (For a contemporary writer you might also try an "Author" search, since many writers publish criticism and social commentary that might shed light on their creative work.)

     Literary Reference Center : The emphasis here is on articles from a wide range of reference resources, including Magill's Survey of American LiteratureCyclopedia of World LiteratureContinuum Encyclopedia of British LiteratureMasterplots, etc.  There is also access to the Critical Insights book series published by Salem Press, each volume dedicated to a single author or a single work. Both the reference works and the Critical Insights series provide very basic biography and interpretation, but these are supplemented by selected scholarly articles.
     The simplest approach may be to enter a single author or a particular work in the "Most Studied Authors" or "Most Studied Works" sections of the "Browse" box. An Author or Work record will offer you "Related Information" categories such as "Literary Criticism," "Reference Books," "Biography," and "Plot Summaries." 

      General OneFile  is another comprehensive database with considerable literary criticism, but the default Subject search forcess you to retrieve EVERYTHING on a particular author. The standard "subdivisions" by which General OneFile organizes these results--"Ethical Aspects," Political Aspects," "Social Aspects"--are broad in respect to authors. 
     If you wish to focus on a particular a theme, the best strategy is to open all the results from the initial Subject search and then use the the "Search within these Results" slot at the upper left to enter thematic Keywords.
     If you wish to focus on a specific literary work, open "Advanced Search" and in the "Select Index" box choose "Named Work": this allows you to run a Subject search on a title.

     ERIC (Ebsco interface)  is an Education database where you can find many scholarly articles on the interpretation and teaching of literary texts at the levels of both secondary and higher education. 
     New York Times (1851-2009)  offers the full text of the New York Times from 1851 up to 2006, so you can access contemporary stories on Wilde, beginning with his American tour in 1882,, as well as trace the arc of wilde's literary celebrity between 1882 and 1900.. Enter "Oscar Wilde" as a Keyword search, putting phrases in quotation marks. You might begin by searching in the “Citation and Abstract” field, then, if this doesn’t yield enough results, expand to the default “Citation and document text” field.  

     LexisNexis Academic U.S. LegalLaw Reviews: Lick on the "US Legal" button at the lower left and then choose "Law Reviews."
 This is a Keyword search of full text, so use the "At Least 5 Occurences" search option to focus on sustained discussion and enter "Oscar Wilde" as your search phrase.

     LGBT life with Full Text : Articles with more of a queer theory slant.

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 

  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Search Argos

Online Reference

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Oxford Companion to English Literature: Oscar Wilde (and note the links to related articles on the left).

The Importance of Being Earnest

 Original Cast: 1895

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wilde manuscript & 1st edition: 1890 

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

  • Oscar Wilde: A biography posted by the Poetry Foundation with an extensive bibliography.
  • Oscar Wilde: Another overview of the life, this time from the Modernism Lab at Yale.
  • Oscar Wilde: compact site providing a factual overview of Wilde's life and works (by a buisness that handles the licensing of celebrities, living and dead). Use the handy table of contents on the left.
  • Oscar Wilde: This British Library site is valuable for the Related Articles and Related Collection Items linked at the bottom.
  • The Oscar Wilde Society: founded in 1990, this international group has collected some interesting online resources here.
  • Oscar Wilde in America: Well-organized collection of online documents relating to Wilde's American tour in 1882.
  • American Barbarism: An article from an 1882 issue of the San Francisco Daily Chronicle, providing a journalist's account of Wilde's lecture on "Art Decoration."
  • Oscar Wilde: A collection of linked artciles and reviews that have appeared on Wilde in the New York Times over the past 25 years.  Also check out a similar collection of articles on Wilde from England's The Guardian.
  • The Trials of Oscar Wilde: A good collection of online materials relating to to Wilde's trial and conviction in 1895, by a faculty member at the University of Missouri Law School.


Aubrey Beardsley illustration: 1894

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.