Jan 21, 2015

By Andy Johnson

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A 19th-century erotic novel that has been associated with Oscar Wilde, is set for wider dissemination after being acquired at auction by the University of British Columbia following a PhD student’s crowd-funding campaign. The book, entitled “Teleny”, was anonymously published in 1893. It describes the erotic relationship between two men. Its prequel “Des Grieux” was published in 1899. The authorship of “Teleny” was first attributed to Wilde decades later by a French bookseller who counted Wilde among his customers. Justin O’Hearn, a PhD candidate in Victorian literature at UBC launched a Kickstarter campaign to help buy the books when they were auctioned by Christies in London. The campaign raised about $3,000. “Des Grieux” was auctioned off for $23,0000. Teleny went for $16,000. UBC’s library made up the funding difference. O’Hearn now plans to transcribe and edit the books.

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