The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde

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Ignatius Press, 2000 - Religion - 412 pages
3 Reviews
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, Salome, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" 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.
 

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Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
11
Preface
13
Acknowledgements
19
Mother of Masks
21
Star in the Ascendancy
39
Oxford Donned
51
Courting Conversion
70
Roman Fever
91
Unhappy Hypocrite
217
Malice through the Looking Glass
228
Critic or Artist
243
Friends and Relations
254
Saints and Sinners
268
Fatal Attraction
276
Courting Conviction
290
Descent
306

Loves Web
110
Courting Controversy
124
Poetry and Pose
134
Courting Constance
155
The French Connection
175
Truth and Masks
185
Purity and Passion
197
Poison and Passion
207
Abyss
320
Purgatory
332
Out of the Depths
348
Wilderness
361
Hounded by Heaven
376
Revelations
387
Index
399
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About the author (2000)

 Joseph Pearce is the author of numerous literary works including Literary Converts, The Quest for Shakespeare and Shakespeare on Love, and the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions series. His other books include literary biographies of Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.


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