Theatre History Podcast # 38

Eleanor Fitzsimons on Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, and the Troubled History of Salomé


Most of us know Oscar Wilde for his sparkling, witty comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. But he also wrote tragedies, most notably the scandalous Salomé. He’d intended the play, which dramatizes the biblical episode in which the title character causes the death of John the Baptist, as a star vehicle for the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt, but his plans never came to fruition. Eleanor Fitzsimons, author of Wilde’s Women: How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew, joins us the story of this unique play.

Aubrey Beardsley illustration for Oscar Wilde's Salomé, 1894.
Photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.


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Thank you for such an insightful and thoughtful discussion. I am thrilled that such a podcast exists and look forward to tuning in regularly!