by Simon Callow - £9.99 National Portrait Gallery Publications (2013)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781855144781 | ISBN 10: 1855144786
One of literature's most flamboyant and witty personalities, the much-quoted Oscar Wilde captivated and scandalised late nineteenth-century society in Europe and America.
Wilde was a pioneer of celebrity, whose friends and contemporaries included Aubrey Beardsley, Lillie Langtry, James McNeill Whistler, Sir Max Beerbohm and Ada Leverson. But Wilde is undoubtedly best known for the circumstances of his love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas ('Bosie'), and the subsequent libel case against Bosie's father, the Marquess of Queensberry. The tragedy of Wilde's own downfall and imprisonment has become one of the defining events of the modern age; allied with his unsurpassed wit and the legacy of his plays and writings, it has made him one of the most iconic figures in literature.
In this perceptive appraisal of Wilde and his circle, Simon Callow brilliantly captures the spirit of one of Britain's most celebrated but ultimately tragic literary giants.
(Price & availability last checked: January 2020)
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