Private Property sign in foreground with beach behind it | Still from "Access Denied" on SoCal Connected

A Collection of 'Wilde' Adventures

Just off of Adams Boulevard is a buried treasure most Angelenos don't even know exists.

The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is home to the largest collection of original works and witticisms penned by Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

Despite competition from neighboring book collectors, library founder William Andrews Clark, Jr. never shied away from collecting and paying tribute to Wilde's greatest written treasures in the early 1900s. Clark deeded the library to UCLA upon his death in the 1930s.

For Wilde scholars and researchers, the rare collection offers a plethora of invaluable material ranging from poems, rare manuscripts, to handwritten notebooks filled with doodles.

Wilde -- who was known for his outlandish attire and long, flowing hair -- was a leading figure in the British aesthetics movement. He is popularly known for plays and novels like "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "The Picture of Dorian Gray" -- all of which exist at the library. Later on in his career, Wilde was imprisoned and tried for gross indecency by the British crown for his homosexual relationships. The imprisonment tarnished Wilde's career as an author, but also helped him gain legions of new fans.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Conor Knighton visits this special library for a rare look inside the world's largest collection of works by Wilde.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Rebecca Fenning Marschall, librarian, Clark Memorial Library, UCLA
  • Joseph Bristow, professor of English, UCLA

 

 

Get the free PBS App

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Heat

How hot will your neighborhood get? "SoCal Connected" looks at the ground-level effects of climate change on southern California.

  • 2020-11-04T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD
  • 2020-11-07T11:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

The New Normal

California's wildfires are more severe and deadlier than ever before. Debates are raging as to what to do, who will pay for billions of dollars in damage and what can be done to lessen the destruction as California adjusts to its new normal: year-around fire.

  • 2020-11-11T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Under the Influence

Influencers - they are powerful, persuasive, and they are everywhere. Marketers use them to reach you, to form what you buy, how you live, and what you do. You may not know it, but you could be living under the influence.

  • 2020-11-18T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD

Jazz City

For decades Los Angeles has existed in the shadows of New York and Chicago when it comes to jazz, but that's now changing. L.A.'s jazz scene is on the upswing. Meet the people, places and sounds that are putting L.A. jazz back on the map. 

  • 2020-11-25T21:00:00-08:00
    KCET-HD