Oscar Wilde


Ellmann, Richard

Authors, Irish -- 19th century -- Biography. …crivains irlandais -- 19e siËcle -- Biographies. Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900) -- Biographie. Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Biography.


xvii, 680 p. [32] p. of plates

Knopf : Distributed by Random House

Publisher location:
New York

Accession number:

Box 74

ill., ports. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [623]-624) and index./ Also issued online. Awards: Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 1989. Richard Ellmann. Book


Call number:
LC: PR5823; Dewey: 828/.809; B

ISBN: 0394554841; 9780394554846 LCCN: 87-45354

Work type:
Biography (bio)

1st American

Research notes:
Review copy - uncorrected proof Two inserts between cover and first leaf Eight inserts between first and second leaves

In this long-awaited biography, 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. The author depicts Wilde's comet-like ascent on the Victorian scene and his equally dramatic sudden eclipse. He presents Wilde's Irish background, the actresses to whom he paid court, his unfortunate wife and lovers, his clothes, coiffures, and the decor of his rooms. 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 Èpoque" and the Greece, Italy and North Africa of Wilde's travels. This 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. Traces the life and career of Oscar Wilde from his boyhood in Dublin to his tragic death in exile at age forty-six.