Oscar: A Life, by Matthew Sturgis (paperback Sept 2019)
$21.00'Simply the best modern biography of Wilde ... A terrific achievement' Evening Standard.
Sturgis's account of the hearing at the Old Bailey is as gripping as it is grim' Guardian. Oscar Wilde's life - like his wit - was alive with paradox. He was both an early exponent and a victim of 'celebrity culture': famous for being famous, he was lauded and ridiculed in equal measure.
His achievements were frequently downplayed, his successes resented. He had a genius for comedy but strove to write tragedies. He was an unabashed snob who nevertheless delighted in exposing the faults of society.
Having delighted in fashionable throngs, Wilde died almost alone: barely a dozen people were at his graveside. Yet despite this ruinous end, Wilde's star continues to shine brightly. His was a life of quite extraordinary drama.
Above all, his flamboyant refusal to conform to the social and sexual orthodoxies of his day make him a hero and an inspiration to all who seek to challenge convention. In the first major biography of Oscar Wilde in thirty years, Matthew Sturgis draws on a wealth of new material and fresh research to place the man firmly in the context of his times. He brings alive the distinctive mood and characters of the fin de siecle in the richest and most compelling portrait of Wilde to date. Now in paperback at £15.99 for Christmas 2019