(Martin Chilton’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/30.)
Oscar Wilde was 27 when he arrived in New York in January 1882. The playwright and poet, who was born in Dublin on October 16th 1854, visited 150 cities during his talking tour. When he arrived at the Hudson River dock, so the legend goes, a federal customs agent asked him whether he had anything to declare. "Nothing . . . nothing but my genius". Here are some of the best quotes about the United States from the author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, who was the subject in 2015 of a book called Wilde in America. Wilde died in Paris, aged 46, on November 30 1900.