Oscar Wilde was important not only to late-Victorian men but to women as well, especially to those middle-class professional women and feminists who defined themselves as "modern." As an editor, advisor, and advancer of women's careers, Wilde demonstrated that he had learned well the lessons taught by his mother, a working author. His ability to move between the homosocial masculine world and the world of women made him almost uniquely "bi-social." Yet Wilde's concept of friendship - based on a performance-oriented model of high-spot moments and grand gestures, rather than on endurance and dependability - also offended some women writers of his circle and provoked them to create satirical portraits of him. By looking to the now little-known works by "modern" women of the 1890s, we can get a new and more complete view both of Wilde himself and of his relation to the development of feminism at the fin de sièècle.
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