Oscar Wilde is considered today as one of the most influential writers of the last decade of the nineteenth century, and it is practically impossible to speak about this important period in English literature without mentioning his name. However, the fact is that Wilde was a relatively obscure literary figure at the time of his death in 1900, and had it not been for the untiring devotion and measured editorial activities of his first editor, Robert Ross, his name would have been left to us not as the classic writer that he is but probably as a controversial cultural figure of the fin-de-siecle. Taking advantage of the powerful publishing medium of the nineteenth century collected edition and through the adoption of calculated editorial techniques, Ross was able to rehabilitate his friend’s name against all odds and put it on the literary ‘classics’ map of his time and era; textual criticism would thus play a significant role in Wilde’s gradual rise to fame and ultimate canonicity in the twentieth century. The present article deals with the effect of the editorial strategies employed for Wilde’s first collected edition on his public perception for a large part the previous century.