On April 12, 2011, the McFarlin Fellows welcome author, biographer and editor Merlin Holland, presented by the Darcy O’Brien Endowed Chair.
Holland, the only grandson of Oscar Wilde, was brought up and educated in England and spent a fragmented life in industry, publishing and commerce before starting to write professionally at the age of 47 as a wine-writer, and occasional features writer for The Oldie and subsequently for Country Life. For the last 30 years, he has been researching his grandfather’s life and now writes, lectures and broadcasts regularly on the subject in English, French and German.
His latest book is a sumptuous large-format facsimile, A Portrait of Oscar Wilde (2008), which presents in-depth views of Wilde seen through his manuscripts and letters preserved in the Lucia Moreira Salles collection, now housed at the The Morgan Library & Museum. The Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library received one of the limited facsimiles of this collection in 2009.
Holland is now working on another book, provisionally titled “After Oscar: a Legacy of Scandal,” which traces the fluctuations in Wilde’s posthumous reputation, the history of his surviving family and the quarrels between his friends and enemies for decades after his death. A few of his other publications include: Oscar Wilde: a Life in Letters; Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess; and Coffee with Oscar Wilde, a series of imaginary conversations between Holland and his grandfather; as well as numerous articles in learned journals and other periodicals.
The McFarlin Fellows is the oldest currently active giving society affiliated with McFarlin Library. These individuals have generously chosen to support the growth of the library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives with an annual commitment of $2,000, and in so doing highlight and encourage intellectual development in the Tulsa community. Gifts are used to fund acquisitions of rare books and manuscripts, while also funding an annual lecture series that features significant scholars and authors of the day. The McFarlin Fellows generally attend formal dinners with a speaker three times a year, and may also participate in other special events.
These events are not open to the public. For further information please see the Fellows’ web page.