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21. The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
22. The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
23. The Cambridge Companion to Oscar
24. De Profundis - Oscar Wilde
25. The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
26. The Artist as Critic: Critical
27. The Happy Prince and Other Tales
28. Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
29. The Importance of Being Earnest
30. Oscar Wilde Stories for Children
31. The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde
32. The Happy Prince: And Other Tales
33. The Complete Oscar Wilde Collection
34. The Selfish Giant
35. The Picture of Dorian Gray
36. Annotated Oscar Wilde
37. The Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde
38. Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture:
39. Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story
40. Complete Shorter Fiction (Oxford

21. The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
by Neil McKenna
Paperback: 576 Pages (2006-11-07)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465044395
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"I have put my genius into my life but only mytalent into my work."
So said Oscar Wilde of his remarkable life-a life more complex, more troubled, and more triumphant than any of his contemporaries ever knew. In The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, Neil McKenna provides stunning new insight into thetumultuous sexual and psychological worlds of this brilliant and tormented figure.

McKenna charts Wilde's astonishing odyssey through London's sexual underworld, and provides explosive new evidence of the political machinations behind Wilde's trials for sodomy. Dazzlingly written and meticulously researched, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde offers a vividly original portrait of a troubled genius who chose to martyr himself for the cause of love between men. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Problematic Historiography--Yet Insightful...
Problematic Historiography--Yet Insightful...

The discipline of History is a delicate and demanding art.
It demands laborious research, documentation, and citation: without these, historiography easily drifts into mythology.
The true historian is absolutely moored to his facts.
Yet there is often a strong temptation to speculate beyond one's actual available data: this is the historian's dilemma.
You see, dig as one may, one never gets the whole picture--only pieces of the puzzle.
For over space-time, bits of historical data are irrevocably lost.
So, the historian accumulates what data he can--as much as possible--and writes his history based on those data.
The delicate aspect of historiography is what Collingwood termed `re-enactment'--the interpretative process by which the historian, in light of the evidence, rethinks the psychological motives of historical actors: a very subtle and delicate process which is affected by the historian's own space-time and worldview.
It is in the process of historical re-enactment where the historian may be tempted to `fill in the blanks' and `go beyond' his unfortunate dearth of facts, resulting in an history laced with `it may be', `it's possible that', `it seems likely that', etc.; in other words, an history on thin ice which is deplorable to critical historians, but may have `popular' appeal as entertaining literature.

Neil McKenna's Secret Life is dangerously near the razor's edge of genuine history versus excessive speculation.

Critical historians will deprecate the book's wretched citation methodology and poor documentation.

On the other hand, McKenna's erudition and worldview undoubtedly lend valuable insights into the motives of the historical actors which people his book, resulting in a largely credible narrative which is very readable in McKenna's nice prose.

For Wildean scholars there are some very good insights here; the problem is that due to the poor technical aspects of the book historians may be dismayed to find it somewhat inadequate to use for further research and writing--and this maddeningly detracts from the book's credibility, especially in its most controversial or revelatory aspects.

That said, it is overall quite a good book on Wilde--possibly the best since Ellmann's Oscar Wilde (and that's saying an hell of a lot!); certainly McKenna's book well complements Ellmann's magnum opus.

Now, no book (just as no human being) is perfect, and there are some notable errors in McKenna's text: for example, on p. 261 McKenna is almost certainly wrong in asserting Wilde `stuck with Bosie's rendering' of the English version of Salome.(It is with statements in the book here and elsewhere that the lack of citation becomes a serious flaw.)

Flaws notwithstanding, overall McKenna's book is a fine effort which won't be outdone: he has a very appealing kindness and sympathy tempered with clarity so that the end result is not too cloyingly effusive, nor does he pimp his agenda too too utterly.

Some readers may find much of the subject matter degenerate, but it is what it is: `the truth is rarely pure and never simple'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes a strong case for Wilde as gay activist.
Neil McKenna's "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde" delves much deeper into Wilde's sex life than Richard Ellmann and other previous biographers have done. But he does so not out of prurient interest, but to prove his thesis that Wilde's life and work cannot properly be understood without comprehending Wilde's intense devotion to what, in Wilde's time, was called the "Uranian" cause. There is considerable disagreement on this point; Quentin Crisp, for example, would have shuddered at the notion that Wilde's actions and subsequent downfall were motivated by anything other than Wilde's arrogance and hubris. But McKenna--a journalist specializing in gay issues--argues forcefully that Wilde deeply wanted to mount a public defense of the love of men for men, at a time when most people regarded sodomy as a worse crime than murder.

McKenna differs from Ellmann on several major points. First, he does not accept Wilde's own assertion that Robbie Ross was the first man he ever slept with, but demonstrates that Wilde had an active gay life from the time he matriculated at Oxford. Second--and McKenna is far from alone on this--he does not accept Ellmann's hypothesis (which Ellmann himself acknowledged was unprovable) that Wilde contracted syphilis from a woman prostitute while at Oxford. (He did contract gonorrhea much later, from a rent boy in Algiers, McKenna tells us.) Third, in the great divide between biographers whether to side with Ross or Lord Alfred Douglas as Wilde's truest friend and lover, McKenna throws his weight behind Bosie, whereas Ellmann stood with Ross. Fourth, McKenna takes very seriously--and goes to great lengths to prove--Bosie's accusations that the British government aggressively prosecuted Wilde in order to take the heat off Lord Rosebery, then prime minister, who was having an affair with Bosie's older brother, Lord Drumlanrig.

McKenna's arguments are open to debate, but more than any previous biographer he paints a persuasive portrait of the gay culture of Wilde's time, and of the extreme perils of being at all "out" in late Victorian England. Ellmann's book will remain the standard biography, but McKenna's is an important supplement.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lame
Glenn Beck's superb biography of Truman Capote examines the writer's extraordinary literary gifts that, seemingly effortlessly, propelled him to fame and fortune before he engaged in a series of sordid affairs that made the end of his life (basically from the publication of "In Cold Blood" until his death) a mordid tragicomedy.After reading about the fascinating Capote, I looked to read about Oscar Wilde; I had read his "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" and thought the man a brilliant literary light.After reading the very lame "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde" I have changed my opinions of the man, and now think that Oscar Wilde may had been a genius but he was a glib genius (how's that for a paradox about the master of paradoxes?).

Like that of Capote, Wilde's literary ascension was natural and effortless.Neil McKenna's argument in "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde" is that Wilde's literary output was driven by his homosexuality.That may be true, but it may also be true that Wilde's literary output was also driven by his narcissism, his megalomania, and other psychological trappings of any genius.The author wants us to believe that Oscar's literary genius was propelled by trying to be a homosexual in a time that was violently suppressing homosexuals but all the evidence says that Oscar was perfectly comfortable with his homosexuality and he could care less what others thought of him.

The book is long and sprawling, and at the same time it's shallow and repetitive.Slowly the book builds towards a semblance of a plot.The sinister Lord Queensberry has two homosexual sons.The eldest is involved in a love affair with the British Prime Minister Lord Roseberry, and this son must kill himself in order to protect the political reputation of his lover.This drives Queensberry to persecute Oscar Wilde for having a love affair with his youngest son, Bosie.Wilde sues Queensberry for libel, and during the trial Queensberry's resourceful lawyers track down Wilde's numerous lovers, and it seems that Wilde is about to go to prison.

And at this particular point in the narrative Mr. McKenna must remind us of the historical import of the trial (or rather persecution of Wilde):

"Oscar's great transforming love for Bosie explains why he never took any of the chances he had throughout March, April and May to flee abroad...Oscar saw his trials and imprisonment as a 'monstrous martyrdom', but nevertheless a glorious one...Oscar sensed that his trial was historical, the first great battle of the modern age between Uranian love and an uncomprehending, persecuting world.Though he may lose the battle, Oscar hoped and prayed that he -- or his Sacred Band of fellow Uranians and their descendants -- would at last win the war." (pages 532-533)

Perhaps a more mundane explanation for Wilde's refusal to flee abroad was, even though homosexuality was a criminal offence, he naively believed he would not go to prison?And if he did flee would he not be cut off from his wife's income?

After the two years of prison Oscar Wilde elopes with Bosie to Europe, an elopement (actually, a drunken debauchery that involves paying for the services of a lot of boys) that lasts until both their families threaten to cut off their income.The threat of prison does not perturb our great hero, but the threat of poverty does?Clearly, our author does not have a good reading of his hero.

Glenn Beck's Capote biography was wonderful because he was loyal enough to his subject to tell the truth.Thus, Capote's death is pathetic and bathetic, a genius undone by his sordid alcoholicism and his petty love affairs.But, upon Wilde's death, McKenna chooses to simply elevate Wilde to sainthood:"A hundred years and many monstrous martyrdoms later, Oscar's men are outcast men no more and the love that dared not speak its name has at last found its joyful voice."

What lame writing, what a lame book, and what a lame life.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde is a detailed account of the author's sexual life and times
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin the son of a doctor and an author and social activist mother. He matriculated at Cambridge, toured America on a famous lecture tour in 1881 and is the author of fiction. His most notable works are "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and four plays: "Salome"; "TheIdeal Husband" Lady Windemere's Fan" and his greatest work: "The Importance of Being Earnest." Wilde also wrote many short stories, poetry and reviews. He is a great name in English Literature.
The best book on Oscar Wilde is Richard Ellmann's classic biography. This new book by gay journalist Neil McKenna is rich in detail on Wilde's sexual lifestyle
Though Wilde was wed to the beautiful Constance and sired two sons he spent his lifetime engaging in sodomy and related sexual acts with young boys and men. McKenna goes into incredible eye-opening details of a spate of Wildean's sexual escapades with young often illiterate and poorly educated young men. He was also an alcoholic and experimented with drug use.
Wilde's greatest love was Alfred Douglas the son of the Marquis of Queensbury. Wilde sued Queensbury for defamation of character but lost the case. Wilde was tried twice for sexual crimes and ended up a prisoner of the crown for two years of horrific imprisonment in the British penal system.
Wilde left prison in 1898 soon reuniting with Douglas "nicknamed Bosie" and died in Paris in 1900. Oscar Wilde was a brilliant author whose witty and pungent bon mots and sayings will always be included in literary anthologies. His plays still hold their own as does "The Picture of Dorian Gray." All of these works have homoerotic allusions and subtexts.
As a straight person I found this book a page turner but lamented the fact that Wilde threw away his great career to engage in criminal sexual activity. Oscar was an egomaniacial hedonist who cast away his wife and children to indulge in a life of sexual irresponsibility. His life was tragic but then he chose to make it so through his behavior. Wilde is a great artist but was a very troubled and flawed individual.
Neil McKenna has done his homework in revealing new facts about the life of Wilde. Not to understand his sexual life is to fail in understanding Wilde as a complex creative artist. This book will not be everyone's cup of tea.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Secret is Sex
It's my own fault. I wanted to read a biography next, I scanned the biography offerings on Kindle, saw one about Oscar Wilde and clicked "Buy Now" instead of "free sample". So let me make something quite clear: the "secret life" in question is Oscar Wilde's sex life.

Neil McKenna makes the case that no single biography can do justice to the whole life of any subject and proceeds from here. He set out to tell the story of Oscar Wilde as a homosexual man in Victorian England and most else in Oscar's life takes a back seat to that. This isn't the book I set out to read but I'm not disappointed to have read it. Somewhere along the way I received the wisdom that Oscar Wilde was just another metrosexual Victorian man until Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas) rolled onto the scene. McKenna makes it clear that was not the case.

There is a whiff about this book of "reclaiming" Oscar. Yes, I'm convinced Oscar was a gay man and I'm certainly interested in rereading some of his work in light of McKenna's interpretations of Dorian Gray and Willie Hughes. On the other hand: Who knew reading about another person's sex life in such detail could be a chore? When Bosie and Oscar aren't bedding rent boys or other fetching creatures, they're racking up charges at five star restaurants and hotels. Unfortunately, that's all they seem to do a lot of the time and it gets a little dull. Maybe it's the mindless promiscuity involved, maybe it's that I'm not a gay man or maybe my Puritan roots go stronger than I realize but by the time the bailiffs came for Oscar I admit I was relieved.

McKenna is a tad myopic. Anything and everything is examined for tell tale signs that Oscar was gay and writing for a gay audience. Not surprisingly, he always finds signs. From Dorian Grey - ok, that's an easy one - to the Happy Prince, McKenna will have you seeing hidden messages everywhere. Bless his heart there isn't an inanimate object in your house that isn't a "code word for" for "Uranian love" when McKenna's on the case. This can lead to some giggle-worthy interpretations, my favorite being the "persistent rumor" that Saint Sebastian wasn't shot through with a hundred arrows but gang-raped by the entire Praetorian Guard and bled to death. Where do you even start on a theory like that? I'll start with the fact that I've never, ever heard that before nor does it make a lot of sense especially since the fact that the "arrows" didn't kill Sebastian is one of the reasons he was made a saint. He was actually beaten to death. (Unless I'm once again behind on the rumors.)

Still, I can't write this book off as all agenda and no substance. McKenna does a create a compelling portrait of Oscar Wilde as a man who accepted his sexuality and genuinely loved Bosie. Now why he loved that mess of a human being is anyone's guess. Bosie may have been the cat's meow in his day but that's no excuse to letting him in the house. Selfish, bratty, vindictive, nasty, and way too interested in young boys, Bosie nearly single-handedly creates the scandal that destroys Oscar and then tops all this by going straight in later life. You'll be hard pressed not to side with Oscar friends who want to keep him away from this human wrecking ball.

This is an interesting book. Not the definitive biography of Oscar Wilde but an interesting exploration into a relatively unknown aspect of Victorian life. Just bear in mind that sometimes a cigar is a cigar even when the smoker in question is Oscar Wilde. ... Read more

22. The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
by Merlin Holland
Paperback: 384 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$8.87
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Asin: 000715805X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Oscar Wilde had one of literary history's most explosive love affairs with Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas. In 1895, Bosie's father, the Marquess of Queensberry, delivered a note to the Albemarle Club addressed to "Oscar Wilde posing as sodomite." With Bosie's encouragement, Wilde sued the Marquess for libel. He not only lost but he was tried twice for "gross indecency" and sent to prison with two years' hard labor. With this publication of the uncensored trial transcripts, readers can for the first time in more than a century hear Wilde at his most articulate and brilliant. The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde documents an alarmingly swift fall from grace; it is also a supremely moving testament to the right to live, work, and love as one's heart dictates.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Artist as a critic
Very fascinating, I've read bios on the case for a college thesis, but never the "actual transcripts." Highly recommend if a fan or not.

As this book makes abundantly clear, Alfred Douglas is to blame. Al wanted to get back at his unstable and angry father through Wilde. Alfred forced his lap dog Wilde to ignore everyone else's advice and pursue a criminal charge against his father the Marquess of Queensbury.

THe MArquess at that time had come through a vicious divorce trial, and suffered the suicide of an older son who was being blackmailed for intimate relations over many years with the new Prime Minister. The Marquess reacted unwisely in forbidding any friendship between Al and Oscar, and in moving not only to throw vegetables upon the stage on the opening night of The Importance, but also leaving a slanderous if somewhat illegible card at Oscar's club.

Oscar lived to regret that owing to his extravagance in setting up Al and Al's intimate pal in an expensive hotel, he could not pay the hotel bill and thus leave for a planned trip to Paris to practice Salome. Instead he remained in London and received the unfortunate card. His most trusted legal friend had already been retained by the Marquess and thus could not give Oscar the good advice he needed to ignore the card and discard it. Instead he followed Al's insistence in charging Al's father the Marquess, and the rest in the tight knit British aristocracy and ruling class, as flamboyantly revealed in Oscar's plays, was inexorable and inevitable. IN fact Oscar's trials become his finest performance and most indeniable proof of the utter and unmentionable corruption, vice, immorality and hypocrisy of the BRitish ruling class. But what a profound and absolute price he paid for revealing this.

This nevertheless was his life's mission. The son of Irish Catholic nationailsts, he was raised in Protestant Schools, including Trinity in Dublin where he was classmate to the one who would so cruelly cross-examine as recorded here. He then went on to Oxford, and London, serving subversively and amazing his fake friends. He perhaps believed he could dazzle the British courts but was quickly silenced, and the events must speak clearly for themselves. As for the British system of injustice, as BRitish Barrister and author of the Rumpole series John Mortimer displays in his brilliant foreword to this book, res ipse loquitur. Mortimer concludes: " . . .when any merciful prosecutor or Home Secretary might have decied that he had suffered enough, it let him down badly and he was finally convicted. Passing the ridiculous sentence of two years' hard labour, Mr. Justice WIlls said that men who could do as Oscar WIlde did were 'dead to all sense of shame.' This judge, who had presided over cases of rape and murder, seriously maintained that Wilde's offense was 'the worst I have ever tried.' When the verdict and sentence were announced ( . . .) the truth had been exposed but it was still a shameful day for British Justice (p. xiii)."

Needless to say that prosecutor who had so viciously treated Wilde despite their co-nationality went on to a highly successful legal career. Reading these transcripts reveal how gifted a barrister he was and how very poorly served was Mr. Wilde in this absolute diversion of the interests of justice, in which Wilde could bring a libel case against a member of the British aristocracy and wind up in prison himself, doing hard labour and losing everythnig he had including his beloved wife and sons.

This nevertheless stands as Mr. Wilde's greatest revelation of British corruption, which Anglo America now eagerly imitates, and thus which we must now read as a cautionary tale with great attention.

And we must deeply thank and congratulate Wilde's grandson in researching in a keenly academic manner this book from forgotten and hidden court documents and associated texts, and in writing the brilliant introduction and notes, a scholarly feat which he humbly denies and ascribes to others in his very generous acknowledgements.

Please note the Bitish edition of this book irrelevantly includes in the title Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess; do not buy needlessly twice unless a fervent collector of all things Wilde, which is emminently understandable and as matter of course forgiveable. Nevertheless, in light of Mr. Wilde's Irish nationalist parentage, and his central image in Salome, and in citing his own description of the Marquess of Queensberry this superfluous title makes itself sweet icing upon a bitter cake.

3-0 out of 5 stars Life Was A Trial For Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde was a handsome man in 1892, as the photo of him in this books clearly indicates. He was a brilliant playwright and daubled in poetry. However, as the drawing of his arrest at the Cadogan Hotel on April 13, 1895, he was an arrogant, dandified "gentleman." He had been accused of a horrible charge and should have accepted his fate. To crave justice from libel, he laid himself and his reputation open to scrutiny and disaster.
Why his grandson would want all of this sordidness known now is impossible to comprehend. Some things are better left forgotten or not said. Wilde felt that the charge (however right it might be) called for a defense of justification. It turned out to be the opposite as the self-destructive genius only continued to lie with charm, entertaining the audience but not the court.

Those who start libel actions often emerge with their reputations and lives in tatters. Libel actions are meant to be cases for re-establishing reputations, confounding gossip and allowing the litigant to emerge in a state of unblemished purity (John Mortimer). The most famous libel case of all led Oscar Wilde directly to jail. He left behind a devoted wife and two sons. The grandson who released this detailed account of the trial to try to figure out "Why on earth did you do it?"

There are photographs of some of the persons involved and of the evidence used against him. It is proposed that perhaps he really didn't think he had done anything wrong. After all, many important people of that time got away with the same thing of which he was accussed. To learn what it is, you must read this book.

I'd heard rumors about his sexual persuasion previously, but this stuff went a little too far to please my sensibilities. The Judge maintained that men who could do as he did were 'dead to all sense of shame' and declared that this offence was 'the worst I have ever tried.'

Poor Oscar, his ego got in the way; his pride was too great to accept the fact that he had been 'found out.' In going to court, he laid open his past and destroyed his future. He hurt not only himself but his family as well. Why can't people just let the sordid past lay dormant?

3-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Avoid
This is a wonderful book if you are only interested in reading the actual transcript from Oscar's trial. Indeed, the book is excellent in that respect. However, I would say it is a book to avoid if you are a fan of Lord Alfred Douglas. It seems to me that this book, like so many before it, is trying to make Alfred Douglas the scapegoat. There was a reason Bosie wanted Oscar to take his father to trial, they WOULD have won. It was a carefully laid out plan and Oscar, not Bosie, is the one who went astray from it. Lord Alfred was to take the witness box and testify against his father. When he was finished telling all that his father had done, what sort of man he was, they felt sure no jury would side with him. However, just before Bosie was about to take the witness box, Oscar refused to allow him. He knew what it would mean by his refusing to allow Bosie to take the stand, he understood very well what it would mean, but he said Bosie should never have to do such a thing. Lord Alfred himself spent a great deal of time lamenting Oscar's decision, and wondering why on earth he changed his mind. He seems to think that Oscar had been talking to Robert Ross and he and Ross had come up with another plan. Ross however, is a compulsive liar, and was probably the worst person Oscar could have trusted.

Oscar's sons, and his grandsons, lived with a false impression of Robert Ross, and therefore with a false impression of Lord Alfred Douglas. I am sickened that these misconceptions live on even now, so long after their deaths. I am sick of Lord Alfred being made out to be a monster, some evil, wicked boy who destroyed Oscar Wilde. Oscar was a very intelligent man, was he not? Don't you think he knew what he was doing? "I must say to myself that I ruined myself and that no man great or small can be ruined but by his own hand."-Oscar Wilde. I'm just tired of the blame being shoveled solely onto Lord Alfred. He wasn't a monster, and I wish people would stop trying to portray him as if he was one.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing reading experience
What's amazing is that, we have heard for many years about the unparalleled wit and charm of Wilde in conversation, yet until now we of course have been denied this experience.Reading these verbatim transcripts, hundreds of pages long and recently unearthed, we are given the opportunity to do this almost virtually, for the Wildean voice comes through loud and clear, with perfect crispness and distinction.This libel trial, the first of three of the Oscar Wilde trials, is almost a conversation between two persons, and the defence counsel, Carson, though incredibly scornful and insolent, is almost as intelligent and quite as good at debate as Wilde, so it's a splendid match of brains.The outcome is disheartening, though, and throughout you can't help pounding the desk and murmuring out loud, oh, Oscar, how could you have been so stupid!Or -- don't go there!So he becomes real in a way he hasn't previously, not even in the best biographies available.Queensberry and Alfred Douglas come off, in hindsight, as monsters of privilege in only quasi-human form.And poor Edward Shelley, it is plain, deserves a book of his own. ... Read more

23. The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Paperback: 329 Pages (1997-11-13)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$20.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521479878
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde offers an essential introduction to one of the theater's most important and enigmatic writers. Although a general overview, the volume also offers some of the latest thinking on the dramatist and his impact on the twentieth century. Part One places Wilde's work within the cultural and historical context of his time and includes an opening essay by Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland. Part Two looks at Wilde's essential work as playwright and general writer. The third group of essays examines the themes and factors that shaped Wilde's work and includes Wilde and his view of the Victorian woman, Wilde's sexual identities, and interpreting Wilde on stage. The volume provides a detailed chronology of Wilde's work, a bibliography for further reading, and illustrations from important productions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Necessity for any student of Wilde...

This collection is a necessity for any student of Wilde. ... Read more

24. De Profundis - Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 72 Pages (2007-11-08)
list price: US$9.45 -- used & new: US$9.38
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Asin: 1604244623
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. . . Suffering is one very long moment.We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return.With us time itself does not progress.It revolves.It seems to circle round one centre of pain.The paralysing immobility of a life every circumstance of which is regulated after an unchangeable pattern, so that we eat and drink and lie down and pray, or kneel at least for prayer, according to the inflexible laws of an iron formula: this immobile quality, that makes each dreadful day in the very minutest detail like its brother, seems to communicate itself to those external forces the very essence of whose existence is ceaseless change.Of seed-time or harvest, of the reapers bending over the corn, or the grape gatherers threading through the vines, of the grass in the orchard made white with broken blossoms or strewn with fallen fruit: of these we know nothing and can know nothing. ... Read more

25. The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (Abacus Books)
by Peter Ackroyd
 Paperback: 186 Pages (1991-05-01)

Isbn: 0349100594
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Last Testament Of Oscar Wilde by Peter Ackroyd
A journal is being written by a lonely man in a Paris hotel room. It starts, for its sins, on 9 August 1900. There was nothing auspicious about the date, no connection to former grandeur or glory. But there has been a chance encounter, on a rare excursion outdoors, with three young Englishmen. They recognise the journal's author, one Oscar Wilde, and they refer to him as "she". It is an event worth recording, an event that prompts recollection and reflection on a life.

Oscar Wilde's life was lived in public. Through exploration, then success and fame, and finally via notoriety and disgrace the author occupied a public mind. His talent was immense, his desire to exploit it almost single-minded and his success phenomenal. In an era when stardom in the modern sense was being invented, Oscar Wilde played the stage, published, courted society and self-promoted. He pushed at boundaries, sometimes not for reasons of art, but merely because they existed. He was, after all, an outsider, an Irishman of questionable parentage, but dressed elegantly in a frock coat and mingling with the highest.

He thus became a star for a while, a centre of attention, a media figure. This was nothing less than celebrity in the modern sense, except, of course, that in his case there actually was some talent and ability in the equation. He was famous primarily for what he did, not for whom he became. But then there was a change. The fame was rendered infamy by publicity he could no longer control. And that downfall killed him. A final journal entry on 30 November 1900, recorded from the author's mumblings by a friend, Maurice Gilbert, records the event. Oscar Wilde had fallen while in prison, and had sustained an injury to an ear, an injury that festered.

Early on in his recollections, Oscar Wilde recalls George Bernard Shaw saying that, "An Englishman will do whatever in the name of principle." Wilde's qualification was that the principle was inevitably self-interest. It is a beautiful metaphor, because as a talented - even gifted - young Irish writer, Wilde was promoted and enjoyed success while ever he bolstered others' positions. The moment he sought an assertion of his own right, however, he was disowned. Celebrity can thus rub shoulders with the rich and powerful, but only on their terms.

And it was their terms that eventually killed him. The sybaritic Bosie encountered, the desire for things Greek aroused, Wilde found himself drawn into a society he could not resist. But he remained a self-confessed voyeur, and never became a participant. He thus remained forever the outsider, on the periphery of even his own vices. But he was eventually pilloried for what he became in the public eye to stand for. It remained only a state to which he aspired, if, that is, we believe him.

The Last Testament Of Oscar Wilde thus hops repeatedly across the boundary that separates a public and a private life. Eventually the two distinct existences become blurred. Because one is always trying to be the other, with neither predominating. Peter Ackroyd's book is a masterpiece with much to say about thoroughly modern concepts such as populism, celebrity, fame and identity.

5-0 out of 5 stars PARODY OF PATHOS IN PARIS
This is a most amazing book.One would almost believe that, like his beloved William Blake, Ackroyd has the ability to rendevouz with the spirits and have Wilde dictate this marvelous account of his exile inParis.A cunning pastiche of Wilde's wit and wisdom, this book charts thedecent into the human condition.Littered with irony and humour, this bookwill leave the reader hungry for more insights into the genius of OscarWilde and I would reccomend it to everybody, even the few that may not beaware of the subject matter.From the dens of sin to the oppressive beautyof Paris society, the reader is on the journey with Wilde all the way.

5-0 out of 5 stars You would think it was Oscar himself
There is humour and pathos here as Peter Ackroyd presents the voice of Oscar Wilde during Wilde's last days in Paris near the turn of the century.Though he was living in exile and was very poor, Wilde's observations are sharp and he bravely steps back from self-pity.He is able to assess his ownlife as an aesthete and writer.He spends his time in cafes, with English friends and with French acquaintances. As he becomes more ill the tone of the voice of Wilde becomes more poignant but till the end he is full of wit.At the very end he dies in his hotel room. This is an immensely satisfying book.All who are interested in Wilde will be drawn into Peter Ackroyd's poetic prose as he recreates from his own study and imagination the last days of the Irish wit and writer, with his degradation and dignity.In the end Wildes's literary wit triumphs and remains while his detractors and persecutors are forgotten ... Read more

26. The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 474 Pages (1982-01-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226897648
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Although known primarily as the irreverent but dazzlingly witty playwright who penned The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde was also an able and farsighted critic. He was an early advocate of criticism as an independent branch of literature and stressed its vital role in the creative process. Scholars continue to debate many of Wilde's critical positions.

Included in Richard Ellmann's impressive collection of Wilde's criticism, The Artist as Critic, is a wide selection of Wilde's book reviews as well as such famous longer works as "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.," "The Soul Man under Socialism," and the four essays which make up Intentions. The Artist as Critic will satisfy any Wilde fan's yearning for an essential reading of his critical work.

"Wilde . . . emerges now as not only brilliant but also revolutionary, one of the great thinkers of dangerous thoughts."—Walter Allen, New York Times Book Review

"The best of Wilde's nonfictional prose can be found in The Artist as Critic."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

This extensive (nearly five hundred page) collection of Mr. Wilde's critical writings provides much food for thought regarding the nature of literacy, and valuably more than makes up for the slight expense of its price. The penultimate piece of sayings and philosophies for the young alone happily repays abundantly any investment of time and money.

Wilde, like Poe, is lesser known for his criticism and aesthetic philosophies, yet both in their prime wrote extensively, reviewing other writers and their art form.

The preface to Dorian Gray, here included reads in places like classical haiku about writing. Wilde cleverly and clearly presents his thoughts concerning the nature of reality, of art, and his mirroring reality through art in order to aid us to see and to believe and to understand and to learn and to live in this reality in which we discover ourselves. He shows us how to discover ourselves, and to live with knowledge, wisdom and intelligence.

This is why the Empire imprisoned silenced and ultimately broke him. He saw and reported too truly through his wonderful plays and writings and epigrams the corrupt nature of the Empire and dared speak truth to power. ... Read more

27. The Happy Prince and Other Tales
by Oscar Wilde
Kindle Edition: Pages (1997-05-01)
list price: US$0.00
Asin: B000JQV2K2
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Entirely Different Side of Oscar Wilde
This collection - one of thousands of worthwhile 'freebies' available for Kindle - offers a side of Oscar Wilde unknown to those who've only experienced his witty, cynical plays. These 'fairy tales' are gentle, moralistic, and only sometimes sardonic. I downloaded it in order to have my favorite of Wilde's short stories, "The Selfish Giant", which blends children's fantasy with Christian iconography in a charming, emotionally affecting way. Now I've read them all and I'm glad I have the set. This also led me to download another freebie, "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime", also recommended. ... Read more

28. Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan B. Holland, Merlin Holland, Rupert Hart-Davis
Hardcover: 1270 Pages (2000-11-30)
-- used & new: US$518.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AZW7S
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Deliciously wicked, astoundingly clever, and often outright shocking, Oscar Wilde put his art into his work and his genius into his life. In this collection, replete with newly discovered letters, the full extent of that genius is unveiled.

Charting his life from his Irish upbringing to fame in his fin de sicle London to infamy and exile in Paris, the letters-written between 1875 and 1900 to publishers and fans, friends and lovers, enemies and adversaries-resound with Wilde's wit, brilliance, and humanity. Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland, and Rupert Hart-Davis have produced a provocative and revealing self-portrait.

Wilde's reputation as a serious thinker, humorous writer, and gay icon continues to flourish. The Complete Letters is an intimate exploration of his life and thoughts-Wilde in his own words. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilde speaking for himself
This book is an absolue delight, a most wonderful portrait of one of the most interesting figures in history.When people think of Oscar Wilde, they think scandals and love affairs.Wilde has most certainly been made into a larger than life character.This book humanizes Wilde, gives him a chance to speak for himself, to show what he really was.His business corrospondnce, letters to his children, these simple writings from his everyday life show a sign of Wilde that people do not think about.I can't recommend this book highly enough.

3-0 out of 5 stars The not so "Wilde" writings of Oscar...
As one of those people who has always found Oscar Wilde an interesting and inscrutable character I had great expectations and an insatiable desire to finally peruse the epistolary output of this remarkable man. Sadly and I will add through no fault of the editors ofthis opus this compilationwill probably leave most readers still searching for insight. Many of these letters (if not the majority) deal with very mundane issues (e.g.business arrangements,inquiries to publishers, very conventional thank you notes and in the post-gaol notes a good number of entreaties for money). Of course this book does contain De Profundis which does present some fascinating insights about the way his mind was functioning during his incarcerationas well as the great indignities attendant with this. I would still recommend this to the diehard Wilde fanatic but to the novice would recommend a good standard biography (Ellman's for example).

5-0 out of 5 stars WILDE with delight!
Though Mr. Wilde is indeed dead, his memory and writing is still with us. With this new book, "THE COMPLETE LETTERS OF OSCAR WILDE" you get a total new insiders glance on Oscar Wilde and his life. If you are a fan of Oscar Wilde, merely just heard of him, or a fan of literature, this is a must-have! ... Read more

29. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-08-07)
list price: US$2.87
Asin: B003YRIQOI
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This classic, famous book and play takes place late Victorian England in 1895. The book and the play include characters that maintain ficticious identities to circumvent unwanted social obligations. The book includes witty and humorous, satirical banter all throughout. It is Wilde's most longstanding, popular play. ... Read more

30. Oscar Wilde Stories for Children (Classic Stories)
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 96 Pages (2000-12-07)
list price: US$15.81 -- used & new: US$10.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0340841710
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An exceptionally handsome, large-format gift edition of timeless fairy tales by Oscar Wilde. Spectacular full-color paintings illustrate six of Wilde's best-loved stories, including "The Happy Prince," "The Nightingale and the Rose," and "The Selfish Giant." Full-color illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
this is the kind of book that will be treasured down through the years.not an investment of money,but rather a feeling of well being

3-0 out of 5 stars "Death is a Great Price to Pay for a Red Rose"
Basically, this collection of Oscar Wilde stories is a reasonably good collection of the man's fairytales, mixing a few old favourites with some new (or at least reasonably unknown) stories; some excellent, some strange, and some, well...not so good. P. J. Lynch is the illustrator, who in my opinion is a man who can do no wrong. Some of his best are not in fact the full page illustrations, but the small pictures at the beginning and end of each stories, beautifully simple and framed only by the white of the page.

"The Selfish Giant" is probably the most famous of all Wilde's children's stories, of the giant who forbade children to play in his beautiful garden, resulting in winter claiming it all year round. Only when he tears down his walls and permits the children to play does he find happiness, especially in the discovery of a particular little boy who one day comes to claim him for his own garden...

"The Nightingale and the Rose" is a beautiful, haunting poetic tale that doesn't really come across as a children's story in content and form. A small nightingale hears the sadness of a lovelorn student, whose beloved has promised to dance with him if he brings her a red rose. Since none are in the garden, the Nightingale sacrifices herself in order to present him with one, singing of love in the moonlight whilst pressing herself up against the barren rosetree's thorn. No where is Wilde's stunning prose more obvious than here, as the Nightingale sings: "Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death,
of the Love that dies not in the tomb." Just beautiful, and Lynch's garden scenes are striking - especially that of the Nightingale pressing her breast up against the thorn.

"The Devoted Friend" is an odd story-within-a-story as a Linnet tells a grouchy Water-rat about the friendship between an honest man named little Hans and a wealthy Miller: a friendship that is decidedly one-sided. Again, it is not entirely a cheerful children's story, as it ends with Hans' death and the Water-rat's complete inability to understand the moral. Overly long, the moral will probably also be lost on most readers, as its a strange ending to say the least. Illustrations are mainly pastoral scenes, but unfortunately don't compensate enough for the dull narrative.

"The Happy Prince" is the other of Wilde's most popular stories, and my definite favourite. The golden statue of the prince in the town is baffled by the reality of poverty in his city, and so employs a swallow to prolong its flying south for the winter in order to pick his jewels and gold plating and take it to those in need. Poignant, tragic and beautiful, I read this story when I was a child and it's stayed with me ever since. Lynch's illustrations are the best here, with aerial scenes that are from (literally) bird's eye-view.

"The Remarkable Rocket" is not however, one of the most memorable...in fact its downright boring. At the Prince's wedding a box of rockets are let off, including one arrogant one that is completely wrapped up in its own importance. That's about it, and yet it stretches over 17 pages. No one will blame you if you skip this one, and even Lynch seems a bit confused at how to present this story, creating cartoonish-like fireworks that don't fit in with the rest of the book.

Finally, "The Young King" is also quite long (one sentence has 125 words in it!), but compensates by fascinating imagery and beautiful, mysterious language. No other story shows Wilde's Christianity than here, but it is saved from being to preachy and moralising by the very real sense of the higher powers at work upon the Prince who adores beauty above all things, but is given several dreams (both beautiful and disturbing) that show him how this beauty is acquired. Again Lynch works wonders with his precise water-colours, though be warned there are a few rather dated assumptions of ethnicity, including the words "Negroes" and "Moors" in a negative light.

With the rest of the mysticism and violence of other stories, and the sparseness of Lynch's illustrations such language further implies that the title "Stories for Children" is misleading - surely these words could have been changed for that suited audience. This is more of an anthology for adult collectors, but such people may want to look for a more complete version - only those who adore the work of P. J. Lynch may want to purchase this book. For children, only two are appropriate, the others are too long or too complex. ... Read more

31. The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde
by Joseph Pearce
Hardcover: 412 Pages (2005-06-15)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$13.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586170260
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Vilified by fellow Victorians for his sexuality and his dandyism, Oscar Wilde, the great poet, satirist and playwright, is hailed today, in some circles, as a "progressive" sexual liberator. But this is not how Wilde saw himself. His actions and pretensions did not bring him happiness and fulfillment. This study of Wilde’s brilliant and tragic life goes beyond the mistakes that brought him notoriety in order to explore this emotional and spiritual search.

Unlike any other biography of Wilde, it strips away these pretensions to show the real man, his aspirations and desires. It uncovers how he was broken by his two-year prison sentence; it probes the deeper thinking behind masterpieces such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and "De Profundis"; and it traces his fascination with Catholicism through to his eleventh-hour conversion.

Published on the 150th anniversary of his birth, this biography removes the masks which have confused previous biographers and reveals the real Wilde beneath the surface. Once again, Joseph Pearce has written a profound, wide-ranging study with many original insights on a great literary figure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great biography from Joseph Pearce
Pearce provides an insightful and penetrating analysis of Wilde as both man and artist. Pearce's research is impeccable and his prose makes for a pleasurable read. Pearce's Wilde is engaging, sympathetic, and complex as his various masks are stripped away. I have read several of Pearce's books, but this one is perhaps his best. I was thankful for a complete portrait of Wilde that did not reduce him into a flippant purveyor of bon mots or a figurehead for the gay-liberation movement. Through Pearce's portrait, we learn that Wilde was so much more.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ellmann for Dummies
Pearce begins his book pompously: "I am convinced that [this book] penetrates to the very core of its subject."Yet, rather than provide insight into Wilde as Pearce claims, the book is only the Reader's Digest version of Ellmann's biography.If you are short on time and want an overview of Wilde's life and work, you could do worse.Just don't expect perceptive analysis.

4-0 out of 5 stars an essential
There seem to be two types of Oscar Wilde biographies. One, treats him like a sexual martyr and hardly gets into his huge talents at all. The other talks only about his career and treats the episode with Lord Alfred Douglass like a spot on an otherwise pristine carpet. Jospeh Pearce refuses to take either path. He looks at Oscar Wilde, the man, the artist and the broken soul. Wilde had some ideas about himself and was like Herod, fascinated by religion but was unable to stir himself to change. He a genius and was spoiled, pampered and protected by his class and talent but that left him totally unprepared for a brute of a man like the Marquiss of Queensbury.

Pearce is gentle with Wilde but he doesn't excuse him. Wilde failed his wife and his sons miserably and the nameless, faceless rent boys of London weren't just props, they were shabbily used human beings. Pearce makes this all clear but he also discusses the hope of Wilde's life, his last minute conversion. Give this well written book a try. It is a completely different and fresh look at Oscar Wilde.

4-0 out of 5 stars The author is maybe a little too forgiving, but thorough...
Before reading this biography all I knew about Oscar Wilde was that he was oversexed and the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray.Joseph Peace does a good job of revealing Wilde's upbringing, studies, and career.In fact I am now reading and pondering other works of Wilde's like, De Profundis.

The author seems harsh to Wilde's lovers and most forgiving of the "Wilde Life."The book paints a picture of Oscar Wilde as a gifted artist who, as his life progressed, became a moral degenirate and a drunkard, in that order.Wilde apparently felt and even expressed remorse, but seemed incapable of acting on it.Yes, "We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."But, that said, Oscar Wilde was predatory in his pursuit of and obsession with younger men.As Pearce points out, Wilde's sin destroyed his family and destroyed him.Wilde died almost friendless and a pauper.Wilde didn't seem so much interested in love as he did in pleasure.What Wilde expressed on paper he was not capable of in himself.The book is an interesting study of the decadent movement of the 19th century in art and literature, and will open the reader up to lesser known writers and artists, who were Wilde's contemporaries.Pearce does make the reader feel sad for Wilde as he was brilliantly talented, but morally a train wreck.Over all, not a bad read and a good introduction to the life of Oscar Wilde.

5-0 out of 5 stars A valuable second opinion on Wilde's life
This very readable book is very useful corrective to what's become the "standard" view of Wilde.It's especially good at exposing the weaknesses of Richard Ellman's now-standard biography of Wilde.For example, the claim that Wilde contracted (and later died of) syphillis is pretty much taken apart by Pearce.

Pearce has also very closely read Wilde's works, so he offers some very valuable readings of Wilde's writing in order to better understand Wilde's inner life--a life, according to Pearce, that was marked by inner loathing and a self-rebuffed desire to embrace the Church.

Ellman's book remains the standard biography in terms of prose quality (Ellman wrote with uncommon beauty and grace, and Ellman's enthusiasm for Wilde's work and personality is truly infectious).However, Pearce's book really should be must reading for all fans of Wilde's work.It doesn't merely trot out all the old information and anecdotes, but actually offers a fresh view of Wilde. ... Read more

32. The Happy Prince: And Other Tales
by Oscar Wilde, George Percy Jacomb Hood
Paperback: 148 Pages (2010-02-26)
list price: US$21.75 -- used & new: US$13.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1145989861
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Gift
This collection makes a wonderful gift for any library.Our children received a copy each, inscribed by their grandmother as a Christmas gift.It will be cherished as an heirloom and passed down through the generations.It contains some terrific classic read-aloud stories, and is very well bound.Beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great starter
Nice starter book - As advertised - Quick Ship - Recommend to all - Thank You!

4-0 out of 5 stars The first fairy tales I heard
My father read them to me, when I was 4, sitting in the crook of his arm (I know I was 4, because at five, I was too BIG to sit in the crook of his arm, and besides, I could read). He must have read them to me a lot, because I still remember "the cold gray fingers of dawn were clutching at the fading stars," from "The Young King" (my favorite, then), and--in "The Selfish Giant," the words TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED were capitalized, and when he got to them, he'd make me "read" them aloud.
It is thus hard for me to say they aren't children's stories. Some children's stories are frightening; why shouldn't some be sad?

They are lovely, often very sad (though some end happily), socially conscious (Wilde seems to have had a strong sense of being surrounded by the poor --well, London is not a bad place to find them), and often filled with irony--but the kind children can understand. Some make reference to God, and one to Christ, indirectly (though the clergy aren't always so sharp!). Some take us on journeys to strange and foreign places. Some have a rather sophisticated sense of humor (I understood these well enough as a child, but did not like them very much).

It's nice to have them again, in a large-paged (and such white pages!), hardbacked
book. I find the intentionally primitive, brightly-colored illustrations hard to get used to. I expected something more realistic, or even pre-Raphaelite or Art Nouveau. Perhaps others will appreciate them.

5-0 out of 5 stars There is always some salvation
In these tales, most of them being sad and even very sad, Oscar Wilde looks for a way to save one's soul in front of the misery of the world. Anyone in society who lives in the upper classes does not necessarily see the ugliness and suffering of the world when one looks at the lower classes. But in these tales the Happy Prince, or the Selfish Giant, or any other character will manage to get salvation out of their upper class blindness, by opening their eyes to misery and suffering and by doing what they can to repair these pains and evils because they will realise they have to feel responsible for the world, because they are more powerful and could easily impose their selfish rule. But the giant will discover nature, if not God, punishes him for his selfishness. The nightingale will try to redeem a young student by giving him a red rose in a season when read roses do not bloom. And yet the student will not get the love he wants because he is nothing but a non-entity for the girl he would like to be loved by. There is also a very sad note in A Devoted Friend and how friendship can become a mask for selfishness, a nice appearance for an ugly and egoistic attitude. Those tales are sad and at the same time they convey a moral full of hope. All is not lost if the Happy Prince can give away his happiness for those who suffer, even if later the powerful of his society will reject him when he does not look happy and beautiful any more

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Tales of Great Worth
When I was quite small (I'm now 64) the 33 1/3 records were introduced.One of the first that we got was a recording of "The Happy Prince".It featured Bing Crosby.I listened to it over and over until I went off to college.Years later I was in England, and I discovered that there was a whole book of stories.Over the years I have re-read this book so much that it is now in tatters.Each story is a gem unto itself.Each story will become another jewel in your treasure chest of lenses, which help you to see the world more clearly.Now that I have discovered that this book is still in print, I expect to buy multiple copies to give as Christmas Gifts this year.Do yourself a favor and don't miss these delightful additions to your life. (Psst : I like this book !) ... Read more

33. The Complete Oscar Wilde Collection (95 total works)
by Oscar Wilde
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-03-31)
list price: US$1.00
Asin: B0023W6JGC
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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23 of Oscar Wilde's major books, plays, and collections of poetry and essays in one collection, with active table of contents:

The Ballad of Reading Gaol
The Canterville Ghost
Charmides and Other Poems
De Profundis
The Duchess of Padua
Essays and Lectures
For Love of the King
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
A House of Pomegranates
An Ideal Husband
The Importance of Being Earnest
Lady Windermere's Fan
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories
The Picture of Dorian Gray
La Sainte Courtisane
Selected Poems of Oscar Wilde (17 poems)
Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde (57 essays)
Shorter Prose Pieces
The Soul of Man
A Woman of No Importance
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars The complete Oscar Wilde Collection (95 total works)
Without an "active table of contents" the book is totally useless, as you cannot select the particular work you wish to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Complete
It's not exactly the "complete" version, for example, De Profoundis in this collection is the abridged version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but...
The table of contents won't let you choose between the fairy tales, only take you to that section.Kinda hard to complain at this price though ... Read more

34. The Selfish Giant
by Oscar Wilde
Hardcover: 32 Pages (1995-10)
list price: US$16.95
Isbn: 0863152120
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The selfish giant drove the children out of his garden and built a high wall around it. Then frost and snow came, and after that it was always winter. Until one day the children crept back in through a hole in the wall. ... Read more

35. The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 178 Pages (2010-10-23)
list price: US$8.90 -- used & new: US$8.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1936594080
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, receives a beautiful painting of himself from his good friend Basil Hallward. In the same moment, a new acquaintance, Lord Henry, introduces Dorian to the ideals of youthfulness and hedonism, of which Gray becomes immediately obsessed. Meanwhile, the painting in Dorian's possession serves as a constant reminder of his passing beauty and youth, driving his obsession.Amazon.com Review
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception ora loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both?After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, hissubject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain thesame comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while hecontinues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman,"as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife,"Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision orsurroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. Thebirds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happyfriend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest withany number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "Whenwe are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are notalways happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, ThePicture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two(voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever newsensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-roomdiscussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novelcontradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artisthas ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is anunpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boygets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it bothways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its ownpunishment." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (391)

3-0 out of 5 stars Where is the famous preface?
The preface is missing which is a critical to the book! Print it out from some other source if you are going to buy this edition. The story is amazing otherwise!

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-read
I grew up reading the classics, and as a young child this story terrified me.I re-read it and enjoyed it again!

3-0 out of 5 stars Read it once, but only once
The most disappointing part of this book is that it read more like a non-fiction philosophy book than a story or novel. I would say 70% of the pages were portrayed as thoughts of a character or a speech of a character contemplating life, women, how we are suppose to live, etc.

The actual story was hidden throughout the book, but you have to drone on through many pages to find it. The story itself is highly predictable and yet still has many missing parts to it. Many years of Dorian Gray's life is missing where it is hinted to that he commit's the most awful sins. I think reading of those sinful actions was to be more entertaining than the rabbit trails that Wilde goes on.

Despite these facts, I am glad that I read the book once. It held my attention enough and was brilliant enough that I did learn something from the book, which is a great accomplishment in itself, to teach a reader a few principals that may slightly help or change on any small level, the readers actions. So I do recommend this book if you have no more pressing serious books on your reading list.

On a side note, I do disagree with all the reviews I have seen on this book where the reader says that they can not relate to Dorian Gray's sins and that his sins are outdated. His chief sins in the book are (SMALL SPOILER ALERT) murder, drug use, pride, treating others harshly and without respect, using women in many ways, etc. are all sins practiced today even if they are not practiced exactly the way they are in the book. If you can relate to none of those sins in any way, then you are a better person than I, or suffer from foolish pride which is the chief sin in the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Picture of Dorian Gray
I am pleased with my shipping and the product is how it was described. Fast shipping.

2-0 out of 5 stars Well written, but not enjoyable
I read this book as a child (around 11) in Russian. Finally decided to re-read it in English. I was astonished as to how differently I perceived it this time around. Without a question, Wilde is a master of words, but the subject of this book was questionable. It appeared to me, that Wilde was set on pushing his own philosophy and views of life and self onto others, and, as I read it, I found myself rejecting it with every fiber of my being. I was rather surprised to have such a strong reaction to this piece of literature. Would not read again and would not recommend it to others either. Just my two cents. ... Read more

36. Annotated Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
 Hardcover: 488 Pages (1982-10)

Isbn: 0856133469
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37. The Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde (Wordsworth Poetry) (Wordsworth Poetry Library)
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 224 Pages (1994-11-05)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.68
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Asin: 1853264539
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Wilde, glamorous and notorious, more famous as a playwright or prisoner than as a poet, invites readers of his verse to meet an unknown and intimate figure. The poetry of his formative years includes the haunting elegy to his young sister and the grieving lyric at the death of his father. The religious drama of his romance with Rome is captured here, as well as its resolution in his renewed love of ancient Greece. He explores forbidden sexual desires, pays homage to the great theatre stars and poets of his day, observes cityscapes with impressionist intensity. His final masterpiece, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, tells the painful story of his own prison experience and calls for universal compassion. This edition of Wilde's verse presents the full range of his achievement as a poet. ... Read more

38. Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend
Paperback: 448 Pages (2009-03-03)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$28.95
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Asin: 0821418386
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Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legendexplores the meteoric rise, sudden fall, and legendary resurgence of an immensely influential writer's reputation from his hectic 1881 American lecture tour to recent Hollywood adaptations of his dramas. Always renowned—if not notorious—for his fashionable persona, Wilde courted celebrity at an early age. Later, he came to prominence as one of the most talented essayists and fiction writers of his time. In the years leading up to his two-year imprisonment, Wilde stood among the foremost dramatists in London. But after he was sent down for committing acts of “gross indecency” it seemed likely that social embarrassment would inflict irreparable damage to his legacy. As this volume shows, Wilde died in comparative obscurity. Little could he have realized that in five years his name would come back into popular circulation thanks to the success of Richard Strauss's opera Salome and Robert Ross's edition of De Profundi. With each succeeding decade, the twentieth century continued to honor Wilde's name by keeping his plays in repertory, producing dramas about his life, adapting his works for film, and devising countless biographical and critical studies of his writings. This volume reveals why, more than a hundred years after his demise, Wilde's value in the academic world, the auction house, and the enterainment industry stands higher than that of any modern writer.
  ... Read more

39. Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece
by Joan Schenkar
Paperback: 400 Pages (2001-12-04)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.99
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Asin: 0306810794
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Now in paperback: the Lambda Literary Award Finalist about "a sophisticated, overheated lesbian world in Paris in the first decades of the twentieth century. A great story, beautifully told." -Edmund White.

Born a scant three months after her uncle Oscar's notorious arrest, raised in the shadow of the greatest scandal of the turn of the twentieth century, Dolly Wilde attracted people of taste and talent wherever she went. Brilliantly witty, charged with charm, a "born writer," she drenched her prodigious talents in liquids, burnt up her opportunities in flamboyant affairs, and died as she lived-repeating her uncle's history of excess, collapse, and ruin. In this biography, Joan Schenkar has created both a captivating portrait of Dolly and a cultural history of Natalie Clifford Barney's remarkable Parisian salon-frequented by Janet Flanner, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes-in which she shone so brightly.Amazon.com Review
She was lovely, sophisticated, and famous for her witty conversation, even in a social circle that was known for its fabulous talkers. The only child of Oscar Wilde's dissipated older brother Willie, Dolly Wilde (1895-1941) led a life as scandalous and glittering as her uncle's: she, too, loved her own sex, and her longest romantic relationship was with American heiress Natalie Clifford Barney, who was host of the most important Parisian literary salon of the 20th century. Unfortunately for Dolly's posthumous reputation, she "was an artist of the spoken word" whose only written legacy was her marvelous correspondence. Quoting liberally and perceptively from those letters, American playwright Joan Schenkar brings Wilde to life in a modernist biography that is written in prose as sparkling as Dolly's fabled bons mots. Schenkar eschews conventional chronology to consider Wilde's life thematically, from her lesbianism to her taste for smart society to her self-destructive identification with Uncle Oscar. She reminds us just how remarkable and accomplished were the women at Barney's salon (journalist Janet Flanner, novelist Djuna Barnes, and artist Mina Loy, among them) and how much they esteemed Dolly Wilde. Yet, her biographer downplays neither Wilde's addiction to drugs nor the sad loneliness of her death (possibly from a drug overdose) at age 45. This is essentially a tale of "squandered gifts and lost opportunities," Schenkar acknowledges, but she successfully provokes readers to share her admiration for Wilde's prodigal generosity with both her talent and her affections. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

1-0 out of 5 stars Truly Dreadful!
This was one of the worst books that I've read in a while and I'm so glad that i got it from the library rather than actually paying money for it.I could not bring myself to finish this book or wade through the author's self indulgent twaddle.

This books was more about the author writing about herself writing about Dolly Wilde, who seemed quite incidental to the author's need to promote herself.My warning bells went off when the author implied that chronological narrative biography was some form of male construct and as such, because she was writing about a woman, she felt quite justified in abandoning narrative and chronological structure and for a large part of the book...facts.Instead this was fluffy headed nonsense with fiction masquerading as biography; what the author didn't know, (because she points out so often that there were no real facts about Dolly Wilde's life) she made up with ham fisted prose. She further felt the need to introduce at least six pointless French allusions per page.I am at a loss to understand what biographical or informational purpose a 6 pages long palm reading of Dolly Wilde's hand print is meant to serve, except to convince the reader that the author is a fruitcake.This palm reading section is preceded by, of all things, a French version of a chicken Maryland recipe.This was an exercise in self-referential, self indulgent, post modernist garbage that has probably made Dolly Wilde less accessible to the wider public rather than more.

If you like books that are well written, contain facts, are organised in a semi-sensible way and are actually informative, then this book isn't for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars meaning without words...a wisp of a shadow
How do you relate the life of someone who never stepped forward from the shadows of her disgraced uncle, Oscar Wilde? Someone who sparkled like a thousand shards of a broken mirror on a sunlit day?
Dolly was a wisp of a shadow, mesmerizing, bewitching permanently etching herself into onto one's memory with her mere presence. Those who knew her well, Janet Flanner, Natalie Barney, Honey Harris - true wordsmiths all- struggled to explain her enigmatic aura. Captivating, enchanting- adjectives repeated over and over in a vain attempt to eplain her effect on all she met.
Her magic was her brilliant conversation, her charming turn of phrase, the impermanence of flowing dialogue that she wouldn't or couldn't commit to paper. She lived and died in 'The Moment' nothing else mattered. Her flame burned bright and then was gone - a willing(?) or fated victim to excesses she could not (and would not) control and the ravages of a body aged long before its time. Suicide? accident? Murder? The myth and truth of 'Wilde' consumed her all the same.
This biography isn't linear because Dolly didn't live her life linearly. Her life was moments of sight and sound and fury that the author captures completely.
How do you truly explain the unexplainable? This book is at it's best a series of half glimpses, whispered hints, or even dim reflections in mirrors (Dolly hated mirrors)of someone so busy 'living in the moment' that after that glorious moment she was gone with only the faint trace of pleasure and grace.
And somehow all that works and works well, this book recreates her life so much more then a dry recording of droning facts could ever capture of such a glorious spirit. No such dullness For Dolly Wilde! I highly recommend this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Truly Milde
In the spirit of Schenkar's grasping at straws to add pages to her book, I'd like to provide a recipe of my own:
How to Bore and Infuriate a Reader
Take 1 very interesting character
Add vast amounts of filler and repetition
Lard with half-baked postmodern theory
Heap in generous amounts of self-satisfaction
Infer that you've egregiously taken advantage of Nathalie Barney's elderly and generous housekeeper
Stir it all up with bad prose.
Half-bake and serve forth to an unsuspecting audience.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wildly brilliant biography
With "Truly Wilde," author Joan Schenkar has reinterpreted and redefined the possibilities of the biographical form. Her strategy in recreating the world of Parisian intellectual and artistic salons in which Oscar Wilde's niece Dolly flourished in the 1920s - most notably Natalie Barney's Academie des Femmes - is stunningly iconoclastic,deeply compelling, and brilliantly written. From a base of scrupulous and capacious research, from interviews with primary sources and access to original documents, illustrated with a fascinating array of photographs, Schenkar uses a thematic rather than chronological approach to bring Dolly Wilde and her world to life, and to follow with fierce attention the course of herdescent to a lonely death in London at the age of 45. Ms. Schenkar does not feel bound by academic niceties. Her book is rich in the odd detail - a palm reading, for instance, or a favorite recipe - that make that era and those brilliant characters as luminous as real life. In her hands, Dolly Wilde becomes a memorable and ultimately mysterious force of nature.

5-0 out of 5 stars For The Intelligent Reader
There is nothing like pleasure to motivate a book review and I took an enormous pleasure in reading -- and then in instantly re-reading - TRULY WILDE. This book gives such a precise and poetic view of the seductive and fascinating Dolly Wilde and such a generously ducumented look at the period in which she flourished -- a period in which conversation was still an art and identity was something that could still be invented - that you really feel yourself feeling with and for Dolly. It's an exemplary, inventive biography. And the photographs are wonderful.

Truly Wilde assumes that its readers delight in language and ideas and bring to it a certain intelligence. I presume that this refreshing approach accounts for the stellar reviews on the book jacket by such brilliant writers as Jeannette Winterson and Edmund White; I presume that it also accounts for the few, suspiciously vitriolic comments found on this site - which seemto be motivated by something other than a desire to share an opinion.

I HIGHLYrecommend TRULY WILDE to all lovers of pleasure who like to think: this book, this life will reward you a thousand times over. ... Read more

40. Complete Shorter Fiction (Oxford World's Classics)
by Oscar Wilde
Paperback: 288 Pages (2008-06-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$39.64
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Asin: 0199535965
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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For the first time in one volume, this completecollection of all the short fiction Oscar Wildepublished contains such social and literary parodies as"Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The CantervilleGhost;" such well-known fairy tales as "The HappyPrince," "The Young King," and "The Fisherman and hisSoul;" an imaginary portrait of the dedicatee ofShakespeare's Sonnets entitled "The Portrait of Mr.W.H.;" and the parables Wilde referred to as "Poems inProse," including "The Artist," "The House of Judgment,"and "The Teacher of Wisdom." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for any collection
I only came to this page to mark that I loved this book using the star system. Seeing that there is only one other review for this book I feel an obligation to write something more in its support. Maybe just telling you, the potential reader, this fact will tell at how much I like this book.

First off, if you've never read anything by Oscar Wilde before, this is a great place to start. He is a man who wrote in two extremes, though with many dimensions of those two: the very high and the very low. This book covers both of those poles in a complete way, giving the reader a feel of what the author can do with words.

Take the low pole, for example. The story 'The Nightingale and the Rose' will move you to tears if you're not careful to read it from a 'happy place'. It is a sad tale that observes love in a seemingly juvenile way (being that it is written as a fairy tale, something most modern audiences are not used to reading as adult literature and find themselves approaching with all their defenses down) but that handles it in such a way as to tilt our ready emotions into an abyss we are probably not ready to handle. Fairy tales are supposed to be about princesses, horses, and godmothers, right? "So what is this..?" We find ourselves asking at the end. It is genius.

To go to the other extreme of his work, try out 'Lord Arthur Saville's Crime' a story that begins with the title character finding himself caught up with a chiromancer (palm reader) who tells him that he is going to murder someone. The poor fellow, feeling that he cannot go forward with his engagement to a woman until this task is taken care of, goes about attempting to murder several unsuspecting characters. He does this knowing that it is his obligation, that he cannot possibly be happy until he has done what he must. I challenge you to read this and not laugh until you are red in the face.

Either extreme makes you think. The first story will have you questioning what love really is made of, looking inside of yourself to see to which extreme you gravitate. The latter story will have you wondering at fate versus destiny; which played its role in this story? I will not give away the ending but will tell you that you should spend some time pondering its conclusion.

Yet even in touching on these two stories I have but skimmed ever so lightly across what delights this book holds. Try the sinister implications found in the repetitions of 'The Fisherman and His Soul'. Laugh at the idiotic characterizations of Americans (I'm an American, for the record on this- yet it was still funny) in 'The Canterville Ghost'. Ponder on the parallels in the 'Poems Written in Prose' at the back of the book, each of which is like a short, succinct question to the reader.

Bottom line: I cannot recommend this book enough. I cannot recommend Oscar Wilde and his works enough.


5-0 out of 5 stars A must for lovers of Oscar and great literature
Oscar Wilde is my favorite author and in my opinion one of the greatest writers to have ever lived.His magnificent stories can make you laugh out loud but they can also move you to tears.No library is complete without the writings of Oscar Wilde.And I highly recommend this book and anything else by Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde complete shorter fiction contains all of Oscar Wildes fairy tales.And it also contains his short stories and some poems.

The fairy tales collected in this volume are "The Nightingale and The Rose" and "The Selfish Giant" and "The Happy Prince".The aforementioned tales happen to be my absolute favorites.The are among the most beautiful stories I have ever read and they will truly touch your heart.Other fairy tales in this book are "The Devoted Friend" and "The Remarkable Rocket".

The short stories in this collection include" Lord Arthur Savile`s Crime "and "The Sphinx Without a Secret".And also "The Canterville Ghost" and "The Model Millionaire"."The Canterville Ghost" is absolutely hilarious and yet at the same time very touching.

Other stories contained in this book are "The Young King" "The Birthday Of Infanta" and "The Fisherman and his Soul "and also "The Star Child"."The Birthday Of Infanta" will truly break your heart and "The Fisherman and his Soul" is also a very touching story.

The poems in this book include The Artist, The Doer of Good,The Disciple, "The Master" and"TheHouse Of Judgement" and "The Teacher of Wisdom".

I highly recommend this book and if you haven`t read any of these stories treat yourself to this book you won`t be sorry. ... Read more

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