The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 539 pages
19 Reviews
Oscar Wilde said of himself, “I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my work.” Now, for the first time, Neil McKenna focuses on the tormented genius of Wilde’s personal life, reproducing remarkable love letters and detailing Wilde’s until-now unknown relationships with other men.McKenna has spent years researching Wilde’s life, drawing on extensive new material, including never-before published poems as well as recently discovered trial statements made by male prostitutes and blackmailers about Wilde. McKenna provides explosive evidence of the political machinations behind Wilde’s trials for sodomy, as well as his central role in the burgeoning gay world of Victorian London. Dazzlingly written and meticulously researched, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde fully charts Wilde’s astonishing odyssey through London’s sexual underworld and paints a frank and vivid psychological portrait of a troubled genius.

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Review: The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde

User Review  - Sebastian Melmoth - Goodreads

Despite the hype, this book is nothing more than the literary equivalent of a celebrity gossip magazine. It is poorly supported, full of assumptions, riddled with speculation and overall the work of a ... Read full review

Review: The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde

User Review  - Laura Lee - Goodreads

Entertaining and reminiscent of a tell-all biography of a modern rock star. Wilde himself comes across as the rock star of his era surrounded by groupies. In many ways it is more a history of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Neil McKenna is an award-winning British journalist who has written for the Independent, the Observer, the Guardian, and the New Statesman. He is the author of On the Margins: Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Developing World. He lives in London.

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