As Barlas's son indicated to A.J. A. Symons, his acquaintance with Wilde began after he had come down from Oxford. Sherard, who was at New College with him, was probably the introducer, as a friend of both."1 Barlas highly valued his friendship with Wilde, whose literary and social ambitions had just begun to bear fruit when they met. He would have appealed to Wilde not merely based on his appearance and manner, but also because of his accomplished classical scholarship and interest in avant garde literature and radical politics. Although little is known of their early friendship, they had ample opportunity to share each other's company, since Barlas stayed in London at least until November, when he moved to Ireland to assume his first teaching position. After he returned to England in 1885, he may have seen Wilde occasionally during trips to London, An undated postcard from Sherard to Barlas, with a cancellation stamp from which only the year, 1886, is legible, indicates that he and Wilde had been waiting for Barlas in Duke Street.2 In any event, their friendship had taken hold to the extent that it easily and actively resumed when Barlas moved closer to London approximately six years after their initial meeting. [28]


Cohen, Philip. John Evelyn Barlas, A Critical Biography: Poetry, Anarchism, and Mental Illness in Late-Victorian Britain. Rivendale Press, 2012. [Review]

Last modified 5 December 2012