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Oscar Wilde's 'intimate' letters to be auctioned

17th September 2010

A number of intimate letters written by Oscar Wilde are to be auctioned off later this month.

The collection of five letters by the flamboyant playwright were all sent to magazine editor Alsager Vian and include musings on Wilde's homosexuality, which was illegal at the time they were written.

In one letter, Wilde appears to proposition Vian by inviting him round for 'cigars and Italian wine', while in another he suggests dining at Pagani's restaurant on Portland Street.

'Afterwards we will smoke cigarettes and talk over the journalistic article, could we go to your rooms, I am so far off, and clubs are difficult to talk in,' he wrote.

Alan Judd from Bamfords auction house said that the letters will help to 'fill in pieces of Oscar Wilde's tempestuous jigsaw'.

The letters, believed to have been written in 1887, are expected to fetch over GBP 10,000 when auctioned on September 24th.

Meanwhile, a number of personal letters and unpublished poems by Ted Hughes have been purchased by the British Library, with manuscripts curator Helen Broderick hoping they will help to shed light on the writer's early career.

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