I am Oscar Wilde's niece Dolly Wilde. 
I was born to his elder brother Willie and his wife Lily Lees on July 11, 1895. My parents were so destitute that Oscar in prison had t arrange payment  of my laying out fee.
I am a darting trout , shifting , glancing and flashing my iridescent tail in a hundred pleasant ponds. I am Dolly Wilde. I listen to and tell stories. The only one I tell of my childhood is that when I was very young I would take lumps of sugar dip them in my pretty mother Lily's perfume and eat them! I believe life should be one delightful sensation after another- I really do!

I resemble Oscar in appearance and temperament . I think it was Henry James on meeting me who exclaimed how wonderful it was to meet a really feminine Wilde. My physical resemblance to Oscar was just the beginning . We both liked to engage in brilliant conversation and we both had our addictions.  In fact I am more Oscar-like than he was himself so call me Oscaria!
I first met Natalie Barney in 1927 at one of her Friday salons at her home at 20 rue Jacob ironically just around the corner from the hotel where Oscar died. I fell in love with Natalie , the pale unarmed enchantress. I wrote to her:You compel my imagination, make a turmoil of my thoughts and every night I miss your lover's attentions--what else is love?

The two things I want to be remembered  for are being a great lover and a lover of nature. I was born in poverty but to appreciate the finer things in life like champagne, cocaine and the company of women.   I impulsively left home at the start of  The Great War to serve with a group of Anglo-American female ambulance drivers at the front in France.  Many of them were rich and lovers of women. I was drawn to and intrigued by Paris where modern experiments in sexual styles were the specialite de la maison . Living in wartime Paris which had turned into a city of women was my first attempt to turn the the life around me into the literature that I loved. Books were my first stimulants.

My friend novelist Rosamund Harcourt-Smith says I am like a panther, softness, grace , purrs and of course claws. She says my huge eyes are like grapes in a greenhouse before the blue bloom gets rubbed. When pleased they have a velvety luster . When angry the pupils retract with the fascinating speed of parrots and the blue grapes become splintered glass. 

I seemed to know everyone in the arts in London and Paris-- Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Radclyffe Hall, Gertrude Stein, aAlice B Toklas, Cecil Beaton and the Sitwells.  I enjoyed the friendship of many men and had any number of marriage proposals.However my relationship with my cousin Vyvyan Holland once we met as adults was not close. I always thought he resented my status as a member of the Wilde family , a name he had had to give up. He did tell me that one of my great faults regarding men was  I was always taking my horse to water and then refusing to let him drink.

Around 1925 I started and ended an affair with the great actress Alla Nazimova . She had bankrupted herself producing and starring in a film version of Oscar's Salome.  Nazimova was delighted to meet the niece of the man whose play she had sacrificed so much to film.  I was fascinated by this wonderful actress and many other women I became involved with but the love 
Was always Natalie Barney.  For sixty years her salon had brought together the best literary and artistic expression people in Paris. She had actually first met Oscar as a small child when he saved her from some bullying boys at a Long Island resort where he was speaking on his 1881 American tour. He also encouraged Natalie's mother to become an artist which she did.
Surprising as a young woman in Washington DC somehow became engaged for a very short time to Alfred Douglas who was shopping unsuccessfully for a rich American wife.
Since I never became a writer myself I admired Natalie's writings--her pensees evoke Oscar's epigrams such as Fame - To Be Known By Those Whom One Does Not Wish To Know 
Always - Too Long   ; Married - To Be Neither Alone Nor Together.

I called Natalie's inner circle The Knights of Natalie's Round Table and treated her like a reigning queen in public. In private I thought of her as something of an accountant in love, always figuring just how much emotion she had to dispense to get the desired amount back.
My best friend in England was Honey Harris. The Harris Family had been friends with the Wildes for a long time.  Honey's uncle Walter was an explorer and my cousin Cyril's  godfather.I stayed with the Harrises in the country Honey helped me through many crises--emotionally and financially.  Like Oscar I liked to live well and extravagantly.

In Natalie's court I had the responsibility not only of Master Of Revels but the Dignified Sufferer of Sexual Jealousy . The women of Natalie's salon and her Academie Des Femmes formed an alliance that helped each other economically, sexually and in friendship. The extent of the salon is illustrated in Natalie's book, Pensees D'une Amazone which shows the names of hundreds of important salon guests both men and women.

I had a mythological parenting with Lord Byron but of course even more so with Oscar. When I went about London in the '20s  many people considered me the incarnation of Oscar except my cousin Vyvyan and also Ada Leverson The Sphinx who loyally to Oscar said "Dolly perhaps inheritedOscar's mantle but none of her own."  It is not true I dressed a lot as Oscar that really was only really one time for a fancy dress ball in Paris in 1930.

I longed to write but could never put down on paper anything that remotely conveyed what I meant. I sometimes think that Oscar must have seized my pen to prevent his works from being rivaled after his death.   My writing was for an audience of one through writing letters. 
Like Oscar, I liked going to plays but I loved being around actresses and in my case sleeping with them. Besides being aware of my Wildean appearance I also knew I had a similar trait of self -destruction. I felt sometimes like a clever man balancing a billiard cue on his nose--one false slip and the cue will topple. I mean my whole life seems just like that - no reality and yet this lack f reality passing unnoticed because the trick is so amusing and clever. It's terrifying at times and I think absurdity can only stand one more day and that one day the cue will fall and I'll fall to pieces on the pavement.

I am obsessed with hands and handwriting. I've written over 200 hundred letters to my Natalie alone such as : Darling, Did you know there was a law in France forbidding people to put flower vases on the window ledge? The femme de chambre has just told me so. My room is full of flowers, all anonymous so I prefer to think of them as coming from you ( as they ought to be!)
and I must die of your fragrant attentions. Come fold my shrouds tomorrow.
Oscar once said that one of the world's great tragedies is that one usually ends up getting what one wants.  This is the only tragedy that I look forward to with pleasure. It was almost the only tragedy I didn't experience.  Death and Love seem to walk on either hand as I go through life.

My passion for Natalie caused me to make numerous suicide attempts when she pursued other romances. My zeal for life caused me to shoot up even during dinner parties but I truly experienced life until cancer ended it in 1941. But you know after my death a friend remarked that half an hour with Dolly was worth six months with anyone else. I hope that was true.
Ten years after my death Natalie published a small volume : In Memory Of Dorothy Ierne Wilde:Oscaria. In the book Natalie reminded everyone she had been the object of my deepest affections and that she was entirely blameless in my tragic early death.

Victor Cunard in my obituary in The Times wrote: Epigram and Paradox are the weapons of the Wilde family and none of its members have used them more humanely if not more effectively than Dorothy.

written by bill kaiser for oscar wilde's 162nd birthday salon @ antebellum hollywood.


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