The biography sensitive to the tragic pattern of the story of a great subject: Oscar Wilde - psychologically and sexually complicated, enormously quotable, central to a alluring cultural world and someone whose life assumed an unbearably dramatic shape.
Hailed as a masterpiece, Ellmann's biography of Oscar Wilde has been acclaimed as a perfect marriage of biographer and subject. With precision and wit and sensitive to the tragic pattern of the story, it brings Wilde to life as never before. 32 pages of photos.
In this elegant and affectionate biography of one of the most controversial personalities of the nineteenth century, Barbara Belford breaks new ground in the evocation of Oscar Wilde's personal life and in our understanding of the choices he made for his art. Published for the centenary of Wilde's death, here is a fresh, full-scale examination of the author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, a figure not only full of himself but enjoying life to the fullest.
Based on extensive study of original sources and animated throughout by historical detail, anecdote, and insight, the narrative traces Wilde's progression from his childhood in an intellectual Irish household to his maturity as a London author to the years of his European exile. Here is Wilde the Oxford Aesthete becoming the talk of London, going off to tour America, lecturing on the craftsmanship of Cellini to the silver miners of Colorado, condemning the ugliness of cast-iron stoves to the ladies of Boston. Here is the domestic Wilde, building sandcastles with his sons, and the generous Wilde, underwriting the publication of poets, lending and spending with no thought of tomorrow. And here is the romantic Wilde, enthralled with Lord Alfred Douglas in an affair that thrived on laughter, smitten with Florence Balcombe, flirting with Violet Hunt, obsessed with Lillie Langtry, loving Constance, his wife.
Vividly evoked are the theatres, clubs, restaurants, and haunts that Wilde made famous. More than previous accounts, Belford's biography evaluates Wilde's homosexuality as not just a private matter but one connected to the politics and culture of the 1890s. Wilde's timeless observations, which make him the most quoted playwright after Shakespeare, are seamlessly woven into the life, revealing a man of remarkable intellect, energy, and warmth.
Too often portrayed as a tragic figure—persecuted, imprisoned, sent into exile, and shunned—Wilde emerges from this intuitive portrait as fully human and fallible, a man who, realizing that his creative years were behind him, committed himself to a life of sexual freedom, which he insisted was the privilege of every artist.
Even now, we have yet to catch up with the man who exhibited some of the more distinguishing characteristics of the twentieth century's preoccupation with fame and zeal for self-advertisement. Wilde's personality shaped an era, and his popularity as a wit and a dramatist has never ebbed.
A celebrated and feared English ghost is outraged when the new American owners of his haunting place refuse to take him seriously and actually fight back against him.
As the public interest in Oscar Wilde grew, and the lies about him multiplied, Vyvyan Holland, Wilde's son, decided to write his own account of the "Oscar Wilde scandal" and its aftermath. The first publication of Son of Oscar Wilde in 1954 was a daring endeavor, considering that homosexuality remained a crime in England at that time, and his father had been convicted of that crime.
Now available with a new Foreword by Merlin Holland, Vyvyan Holland's son, this memoir—which Vyvyan Holland described as "not a very amusing or entertaining story"—reveals Oscar Wilde as a much-loved though often absent member of the family. Focusing on the scandal from the point of view of a small boy, it dramatically portrays how the family dealt with Oscar's persecution, and after his death, attempted to deny that he ever lived by taking the extreme measure of changing the sons' names from Wilde to Holland. Vyvyan Holland describes in detail his early happy years followed by the exile and his years in Germany and Monaco, his return to England and his adolescent years, and his decision as a mature adult to lay to rest the bitter memory of his early years by recording them for posterity.
This edition also contains 33 of Oscar Wilde's letters to friends; a reminiscence of Wilde by W.W. Ward; some prose poems by Wilde; letters from Lord Alfred Douglas to Vyvyan Holland; and several contemporary newspaper reports of events during and after the Oscar Wilde affair. A tragic story of prejudice, fear, and much sadness, this memoir reveals one boy's ability to survive such extreme cruelty and suffering.
This volume contains more than eighty stories ranging from the classics by Poe, Dickens, Henry James and other gems to new works written specifically for this book.
Oscar Wilde had one of literary history's mostexplosive love affairs with Lord Alfred "Bosie"Douglas. In 1895, Bosie's father, the Marquessof Queensberry, delivered a note to the Albemarle Clubaddressed to "Oscar Wilde posing as sodomite." WithBosie's encouragement, Wilde sued the Marquess forlibel. He not only lost but he was tried twice for "grossindecency" and sent to prison with two years' hard labor.With this publication of the uncensored trial transcripts,readers can for the first time in more than a century hearWilde at his most articulate and brilliant. The Real Trialof Oscar Wilde documents an alarmingly swift fall fromgrace; it is also a supremely moving testament to the rightto live, work, and love as one's heart dictates.