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Oscar Wilde letters to be sold off

image captionIt is thought the letters were locked away until 1924

Letters written by the late playwright Oscar Wilde are to be auctioned off later this month.

The letters appear to reveal Wilde "propositioning" a magazine editor at a time when homosexuality was illegal.

Alan Judd from Bamfords auction house said they are important as they "help to fill in pieces of Oscar Wilde's tempestuous jigsaw".

The collection of five letters is expected to sell for £10,000 on 24 September.

The letters were written to magazine editor Alsager Vian and are being sold off by his descendants.

It is thought it was family tradition that the letters were kept under lock and key in a bureau until Vian's death in 1924.

Vian married in 1891 and is best remembered as the author of many entries in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Meanwhile, Wilde's lifestyle and legacy will be part of a new exhibition, which is taking place at the Victoria And Albert Museum in London.

The museum is staging a show on Britain's 19th Century Aesthetic Movement, examining luminaries, who also include William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The Cult Of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 runs from 2 April to 17 July next year.