When Jefferson Met Oscar

by Chris Bodenner

In an interview with Brian Bedford, the cross-dressing star of The Importance of Being Earnest, Kevin Sessums shares a fascinating anecdote from the life of Oscar Wilde:

I read his collected letters a few summers ago. As a lapsed Mississippian, one of the most shocking to me regarded his visit with [Confederate President] Jefferson Davis down at Davis' home in Biloxi. Wilde had stated on one of his reading tours of the States that the one man he wanted to meet was Davis because he found such similarities between the South and Ireland. He spent the night with the Davis family and even left them an inscribed photograph of himself which was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The mind boggles at that meeting.