A biographer claims to have found Wilde's famous "Darling Hattie."

Matthew Sturgis believes that Harriet 'Hattie' Crocker, born into a wealthy American family, is the mysterious muse of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.

Sturgis claims that 23-year-old Crocker, the daughter of a rail magnate Charles Crocker, met Wilde during his American tour in 1882.

The biographer penned "Oscar Wilde: A Life" which is due to be published next month. During his research, Sturgis found documents that tie that San Francisco-based Crockers to the Dubliner.

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Strugis cites a letter written by Wilde that reads: "When I think of America I only remember someone whose lips are like the crimson petals of a summer rose, whose eyes are two brown agates, who has the fascination of a panther, the pluck of a tigress, and the grace of a bird. Darling Hattie, I now realise that I am absolutely in love with you, and for ever and ever…"

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Intrigued as to who 'Darling Hattie' might be referring to, and reading Wilde confide to a friend that he had "lost his heart in San Francisco," Sturgis looked through the city's census records and found only one Hattie.

He also forged a link when he discovered that her parents, Charles and Mary Crocker, were in attendance at Wilde's first US lecture.   

"So it would be very likely that Hattie was there as well...The circumstantial evidence linking the Crockers with Wilde's tour and his stay in San Francisco is so strong," Sturgis told The Observer.

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