In this long-awaited bioraphy, Wilde the legendary Victorian - brilliant writer and conversationalist, reckless flouter of social and sexual conventions - is brought to life. More astute and forbearing, yet more fallible than legend has allowed, Wilde is given here the dimensions of a modern hero. Based on fresh material from many hitherto ...Read MoreIn this long-awaited bioraphy, Wilde the legendary Victorian - brilliant writer and conversationalist, reckless flouter of social and sexual conventions - is brought to life. More astute and forbearing, yet more fallible than legend has allowed, Wilde is given here the dimensions of a modern hero. Based on fresh material from many hitherto-untapped sources, Ellmann depicts Wilde's comet-like ascent on the Victorian scene and his equally dramatic sudden eclipse. His Irish background, the actresses to whom he paid court, his unfortunate wife and lovers, his clothes, coiffures, and the decor of his rooms - all are presented here in vivid detail. The saga of his 1882 American tour is recounted with a wealth of new details; also his later impact on the bastions of the French literary establishment. The London of the Nineties, of Whistler and the Pre-Raphaelites, Lillie Langtry and the Prince of Wales, is evoked alongside Paris of the "belle epoque" and the Greece, Italy and North Africa of Wilde's travels. Ellmann's definitive critical account of Wilde's entire oeuvre shows him as the proponent of a radical new aesthetic who was perilously at odds with Victorian society. After his period of success and daring, the fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas is followed by exposure, imprisonment, a few wretched years abroad and death in exile. The tragic end of Wilde's life leaves the reader with a sense of compassion and grief for the protagonist. This edition make the popular and best selling biography available in paperback for the first time.Read Less
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Textbook. Authoritative and intensive study of Wilde's life. Condition, very good. Excellent value. Speedy delivery.
Aug 20, 2007
Decades of research went into this last biography writtten b;y the gifted Richard Ellmann, biographer of the "Four Dubliners", Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. Truly a Herculean effort, illuminating the charismatic and brilliant Wilde, his "specially liberal" uprbringing by both extremely gifted parents, his scholastic awards, his successful plays and lastly and most poignantly, his scandal of an affair with "Bosie". This scandal resulted in a court sentence of two years of hard labor. The resulting expose of neglect and abuse which he chronicled in "the Reading Gaol" brought about English prison reform two years before his untimely death in 1900. You will learn and suffer with him the condemnation of his society in Victorian England. Another five star by Ellmann.
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