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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 18:20 GMT
Wilde recording 'a fake'
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde: Died 100 years ago
The world's only known recording of the voice of Oscar Wilde is a fake, researchers at the British Library have said.

In the recording, a voice - long believed to be that of the 19th Century playwright and wit - can be heard reading The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Experts have analysed the recording using the latest techniques, and have concluded it is likely to be a forgery.

Thursday is the 100th anniversary of Wilde's death in Paris.

The recording was found in the 1960s in the US by Wilde's biographer H Montgomery-Hyde. He played it to Wilde's son, Vyvyan Holland, who declared it to be the voice of his late father.

But Holland later changed his mind.

Wilde experts are hopeful other recordings of the playwright may still exist.

The technology to make audio recordings was available at the time.

The experts hope the publicity surrounding the centenary of Wilde's death could unearth some new recordings.

Sally Brown, curator of the British Library's A Life In Six Acts exhibition about Wilde said: "This piece is a fascinating curiosity, but it would be wonderful to find a true recording of his voice, described as the texture of brown velvet played like a cello."

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06 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Unfinished Wilde play discovered
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