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Liverpool Central Library
Hornby Library
William Brown Street
Liverpool
free
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Liverpool Central Library commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth in Liverpool of Richard Le Gallienne (1866–1947) - poet, critic, and novelist - with an exhibition in its Hornby Library. On display are over 50 rare or unique items, many highlighting his lifelong connections to Oscar Wilde (1854–1900). Original photographs, drawings, manuscripts, unpublished letters, Victorian periodicals, and first editions tell the story of Le Gallienne’s successful literary career, which took him from Liverpool to London, the US, and France. Drawn from public and private collections and local institutions (including family papers in the Liverpool Record Office of Liverpool Central Library), these materials show his importance to the Aesthetic and Decadent movements, his involvement with the Yellow Book, his intimate ties to late-Victorian feminists known as “New Women,” and his links to artists such as Max Beerbohm and Walter Sickert.

Most of all, this exhibition illuminates the role that Oscar Wilde played as his idol, mentor, and friend—a relationship that began when 17-year-old Dick Gallienne, clerk in a Liverpool office, heard Wilde lecture in 1883 at the Claughton Music Hall in Birkenhead. Inspired by Wilde’s personal style and ideas about art, he renamed himself “Richard Le Gallienne,” wore long hair and artistic clothes, and dedicated himself to becoming an equally flamboyant figure and unconventional writer, devoted to Beauty in all its forms.

Picture: Liverpool Central Library