The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

by Neil McKenna

I have put my genius into my life but only my talent into my work.So said Oscar Wilde of his remarkable life a life more complex, more erotic, more troubled and more triumphant than any of his contemporaries ever knew or suspected.Neil McKennas The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde charts fully for the first time Oscars astonishing erotic odyssey through Victorian Londons sexual underworld. Oscar Wilde emerges as a man driven personally and creatively by his powerful desires for sex with men, and Neil McKenna argues compellingly and convincingly that Oscars Wildes life and work can only be fully understood and appreciated in terms of his sexuality.The book draws of a vast range of sources, many of them previously unpublished, and includes startling new material like the statements made to the police by the male prostitutes and blackmailers ranged against Oscar Wilde at his trial which have been lost for over a century.Dazzlingly written, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde meticulously and brilliantly reconstructs Oscar Wildes emotional and sexual life, painting an astonishingly frank and vivid portrait of a troubled genius who chose to martyr himself for the cause of love between men.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 3.96
  • Pages: 717
  • Publish Date: July 15th 2004 by Arrow
  • Isbn10: 0099415453
  • Isbn13: 9780099415459

What People Think about "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde"

I love Oscar's writing, but if this book is any indication, wouldn't have cared for him as an individual.

All in the effort to answer the biggest, most important question: "Just how much of a flaming queen was Oscar Wilde?" because the answer is girl, the man was OSCAR WILDE, you could make up all sorts of shit and it wouldn't come close.

Oscar Wilde biografija, jei gerai pamenu, man antroji. Manau, tai, jog Oscar Wilde buvo homoseksualus ino visi pikantik naujien mediotojai. Man toks poiris nepriimtinas, nes mogus, juo labiau toks gilus ir jautrus, kaip Oscar Wilde tikrai turjo gyvenime kit inspiracij ir formuotoj nei jo paties seksualumas. Silau skaityti tuo atveju, jei susidomjimo objektas ne pats Oscar Wilde, o homoseksualumas.

Irrefutable evidence Wilde was a lover of boys. In McKennas view, his life was an epic struggle for the freedom of men to love men and the story is concluded on an upliftingly triumphant note: A hundred years and many monstrous martyrdoms later, Oscars men are outcast men no more and the love that dared not speak its name has at last found its joyful voice. These have often centred on the age of Alphonso Conway whom McKenna admits Oscar fellated at 15 in 1894, but others have claimed may have been much older. More important than quibbling over exactly how young Oscars boys were is understanding the ethos that underlay his liaisons. . Even McKenna frequently admits boys were what Oscar was about, as when he calls him the champion not just of the legitimacy but more importantly, the superiority of sex between men and boys. Any notion that Oscar might have respected the law by abstaining from boys if he had lived in todays Britain, legally tolerant of sex between men (though still socially intolerant of the age gap always present in his liaisons), runs counter to all he said and stood for: I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. Let us now return to the claim that Oscars men are outcast no more, and how better than by examining what would happen today to Oscar himself as soon as suspicions of his sexual antics became public? The love that dare not speak its name was the love between men and adolescent boys and has nothing to do with todays gays.

I love gossip and I loved this book, couldnt wait to get back to it whenever I had a spare minute, but and its a huge BUT I felt that the author was a little bit too accepting of certain things, and just swept past them in his gallop after Oscar, maybe even covering his eyes. After all, he and Bosie went around the Middle East to have fun with little boys, who were supplied by their more than willing fathers, right? Gides best sexual memory was of a night spent with a 12-year-old Egyptian boy, and the five orgasms he had.

But Wilde could not suppress his desires and he pursued his interests outside his marriage. Neil McKenna magnificently captures his final days in Paris and on the continent, showing that as well as being lonely and depressed, he also had a memorable time, looking markedly better, slighter and younger than he had two years previously, rediscovering his attraction to other men and the attraction of Uranian love. I have lived.' And he lived life to the full to the very end, even though at times he was penniless and hungry. McKenna states that he died an outcast, 'mourned by outcast men', but Wilde, in his heart, knew that he was a martyr in the epic struggle for the freedom of men to love men and he was happily confident in his view that Uranian love would, in time be seen as 'noble'.

I like that this biography seeks to do away with the vision that Wilde was a bisexual family man who only occasionally was attracted to men.

But more than that, this book is also a passionate cry for compassion, justice, and tolerance, three things that, sadly, Wilde was denied in his lifetime.

What a read!

Neils McKennas book was widely praised for its fresh and exciting new material about Oscar Wilde and for the quality of the writing.