This major biography of the Irish literary titan mines the comedy and tragedy of the work and the life, drawing unprecedentedly on the full transcript of Wilde's libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry
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Oscar Wilde's life – like his wit – was alive with paradox. He was both an early exponent and victim of 'celebrity culture': famous for being famous, he was often ridiculed and disparaged. His achievements were frequently downplayed, his successes resented. He had a genius for comedy but strove to write tragedies. He was a snob but was prone to great acts of kindness. Although happily married, he became a passionate lover of men. At the height of his success he brought disaster upon himself by defending his love for Lord Alfred Douglas. Having delighted in fashionable throngs, he died almost alone.
In the first major biography of Oscar Wilde in thirty years, Matthew Sturgis brings alive the radical ideas and distinctive characters of the fin de siècle to write the richest account of Wilde's life to date.