“Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Clark Library Exhibition”
Exhibition Opening – Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is pleased to invite you to an exhibition opening with remarks by Oscar Wilde scholar and UCLA professor Joseph Bristow on Wednesday, February 25th. The exhibition focuses on the significance of Wilde’s eighty-page “Chatterton” notebook, acquired by the Clark in 1952. This important document reveals the extraordinary research Wilde undertook when discovering details about the brief but prolific life of teenage eighteenth-century forger, Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770), the son of a humble sexton. As the “Chatterton” notebook shows, Wilde was fascinated by the biography of the gifted young poet who forged the works of an imaginary fifteenth-century poet, Thomas Rowley. The brilliant forgeries, which Chatterton wrote in a faux-medieval style, revealed not only a precocious poetic talent; they also demonstrated Chattetron’s intimate knowledge of the English poetic tradition that connected Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, and Matthew Prior. The exhibition coincides with the publication of Joseph Bristow and Rebecca N. Mitchell’s Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery (Yale University Press, 2015), which will be available for purchase.
The library will be open for viewing the exhibition at 4:00 p.m. No registration is required.
Exhibitions are open during public programs and by appointment.
For appointments call 323-731-8529, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The exhibition will be on view from February 25 – March 31, 2015.