The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde ePUB Ù Secret Life of

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde ePUB Ù Secret Life of

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde ❴Reading❵ ➺ The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde Author Neil McKenna – 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 rep Oscar Wilde said of himself “I put Life of Epub á 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 menMcKenna 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 The Secret Epub / 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.

10 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

  1. Rachael Eyre Rachael Eyre says:

    A bit of a slog to be honest I love Oscar's writing but if this book is any indication wouldn't have cared for him as an individual It suffers from two major flaws firstly repetition yes he was a habitual user of Oxonian undergraduates and renters we've got the message and secondly blithe acceptance of unacceptable behaviour I realise it's a mistake to judge by our standards but I found Oscar's cold hearted neglect of his wife and family unforgivable McKenna also seems to be dazzled by Oscar's 'one true love' Bosie who was not only the most wretched spoilt little bitch any great man wasted his time on but strongly implied to be a paedophile at one point he has designs on Oscar's nine year old son I soon became very tired of reading yet another exuisite sonnet by Bosie that was anything but The best parts of the book deal with Oscar's writing particularly when examined from a Uranian perspective and assorted gay scandals I hadn't been aware of Francis Douglas's love affair with the Prime Minister before The villain of the piece the scarlet Maruis is feelingly invoked how dare such a grotesue man set himself up as a guardian of public morals? But the book was such a confused overwritten hotchpotch smiling upon such dubious morals it was a chore to get through and I'm thoroughly relieved to have finished it Indeed I'll probably have to read Oscar's oeuvre again to have my confidence in him restored

  2. Joanna Joanna says:

    So This is exactly the biography of Oscar Wilde I would write if I were to uh write one It focuses on the important uestions like Whom did he have sex with maybe? and Whom did his friends have sex with maybe? No matter if in answering these uestions he uses the most uestionable sources for example Trelawny Backhouse who in addition to claiming all sorts of salacious things about Oscar Wilde and Bosie also claimed to have had sex with the Empress of China Frankly if there was anything anything that had to do with Oscar Wilde and homosexuality and I was writing a book on Oscar Wilde and homosexuality I would go ALL OUT too and just put everything I could find in there If I found out that some guy had sent letters to Oscar and later Oscar had dinner with him then I am writing that yeah maybe they had sex okay? All in the effort to answer the biggest most important uestion Just how much of a flaming ueen 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

  3. Mary Pagones Mary Pagones says:

    A multiple reread for me and I'm still using it for research but uite simply one of the best books on ueer mm culture of British 19th century society and fiction My only criticism is that the title is all too accurate it is about Wilde's sex life and while it gives valuable context to his fiction sometimes the greatness of his writing can fade a bit into the background because it's primarily interested in his activities with Bosie rent boys and other gay men of the period But exhaustively researched engagingly written and an absolute MUST READ for Wilde obsessives like myself Gift it to the person in your life determined to give too much focus to Wilde's marriage as well

  4. Edmund Marlowe Edmund Marlowe says:

    Irrefutable evidence Wilde was a lover of boysThoroughly researched well written and gripping this account of Wilde’s sex life is full of fascinating revelations It is astonishing that so much new information essential to our understanding of him should emerge than a century after his death I feel bound to devote most of this review to explaining a serious flaw so I should first stress that it is a good book very well worth readingIts most obvious weakness is being overdone in terms of the homoerotic assumptions McKenna makes about both Wilde’s friendships and his writings When combined with his failure to supply proper footnotes this is severely damaging to his credibility a great shame considering the importance of his workSimilarly unfortunate are factual errors glaring enough to shake one’s faith in his knowledge and therefore understanding of the period For example he says the Duke of Cambridge in 1893 was the brother of the Prince of Wales People then would have been just as familiar with their true relationship as people now are about the present incumbents of those titlesMcKenna’s narrow sexual focus has debatably helped him to delve deep into Wilde’s psyche but at the cost of ignoring important aspects of his emotional and intellectual life that hold no erotic interest such as his rapport with his sons The flaw in both this biography and the popular sexual perception of Wilde that reuires far greater attention is the idea he was an apostle for the modern gay cause In McKenna’s 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 Oscar’s men are outcast men no and the love that dared not speak its name has at last found its joyful voice” I shall try to demonstrate what nonsense this isThe given ages of Oscar’s lovers ranged from 13 or 14 if one counts “indecent liberties” taken with Herbert Tankard or “about 14” the testimony of a Savoy chambermaid to 24 but only if one accepts McKenna’s assertion that Frank Miles was one Fitting neatly into the middle of this we have Bosie’s word that 19 was “just Oscar’s style” when he was 40 So was he like today’s gays or was he a pederast a lover of boys? A vital precursor to any discussion of this is verifiable dismissal of the falsehood still widely perpetuated that there is no evidence for Oscar’s liaisons with boys 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 Let me finally consign the latter claim to the dustbin Anyone caring to look at the 1891 census will find that the only boy in England with a remotely similar name was “Alphus Conway” living in Worthing matches with his widowed mother matches and aged 12 proves the point To get this in better perspective be aware that the average Victorian boy reached puberty at 16More important than uibbling over exactly how young Oscar’s boys were is understanding the ethos that underlay his liaisons Were they relationships between euals and so socially correct in today’s terms or were they age structured affairs to which the older and younger lover contributed different but complimentary things? Here we need go no further than Oscar’s applause rousing explanation to the jury of “the love that dare not speak its name” delineating precisely the disparate contributions to mutual affection contributed by an elder and younger man The diplomatic use of “younger man” instead of “boy” should fool no one familiar with Oscar’s incessant praise of “paiderastia” or “Greek love” or his private self designation as “a poet in prison for loving boys” Even McKenna freuently admits boys were what Oscar was about as when he calls him “the champion not just of the legitimacy – but 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 today’s 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” It was anyway every man’s duty to have “the courage” to commit “what are called sins” Sex with boys was “like feasting with panthers The danger was half the excitement”Let us now return to the claim that “Oscar’s men” are outcast no and how better than by examining what would happen today to Oscar himself as soon as suspicions of his sexual antics became public? The police would begin a massive trawl for “victims” which would bring in every boy who had met Oscar besides many others tempted by the financial inducements of victimhood and low burden of evidence reuired His friends would soon be extradited where necessary and arrested with Bosie and Robbie in particular headed for far worse fates than Oscar due to their firm preference for younger boys Instead of waiting for his first trial there would be an immediate public outcry against celebrity perverts and his plays and books would disappear from theatres and shops overnight Instead of claiming him as their patron saint or even just standing up for him the gay community would be at the forefront of the outrage desperately anxious to repudiate him as one of them and furious with him for giving homosexuality a bad name Far from being applauded his speech at his trial defending misunderstood love would be fiercely denounced by all for its callous indifference to the “suffering” of his paramours sorry victims as indeed would any dissenting or sympathetic voiceIn the unlikely event that Oscar survived the much longer prison sentence he would be given today he would spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders’ register while a SOPO would ensure he couldn’t move to a gentler land and alleviate his misery by having some fun with French and Italian boys Instead he would eke out his last years hiding in some British backwater and living in daily terror of being found and murdered by a virtue loving vigilante Meanwhile society would never have stopped smugly congratulating itself on a handling of Oscar that showed how much enlightened it was than those barbaric Victorians“The love that dare not speak its name” was the love between men and adolescent boys and has nothing to do with today’s gays Despite Wilde’s martyrdom and all he did to remind the world of its noble past it is spoken of today in ever terrified whispersEdmund Marlowe author of Alexander’s Choice an Eton boy’s love story

  5. Tocotin Tocotin says:

    I read this book less for Oscar okay I like him reasonably for the general picture of the Victorian morality sexuality and of the murky underworld without which the existence of Oscar et cohortes would have been very hard indeed No disappointment here The “secret life” of the title is of course sexual life and the author tries to upturn every stone imaginable to find some evidence of yet another of Oscar’s sexual conuests – and if there are no stones he’ll sure place something that looks like a stone when you’re not watchingI love gossip and I loved this book couldn’t wait to get back to it whenever I had a spare minute but – and it’s 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 Wilde and his friends exploited young boys who were most of them poor uneducated and socially in much lower position Some of them were not even adolescents but children plain and simple It seems that Oscar was generally decent generally but his beloved Bosie – what an useless destructive parasite I wonder if Oscar knew that the person he loved the most was planning to seduce his 9 year old son Maybe he didn’t care? After all he and Bosie went around the Middle East to have fun with little boys who were supplied by their than willing fathers right? The whole world at that time was full of well to do white gentlemen on an endless safari in the colonies hunting for little girls and boys Gide’s best sexual memory was of a night spent with a 12 year old Egyptian boy and the five orgasms he had Gide not the boy – don't be silly no one gives a shit about the boy Five Just think about itSo – yeah Oscar was not exactly the martyr for the cause of LGBT rights It is a complicated thing because he was a victim of a political cover up to some extent and because the law didn’t care much for minors of any gender but that doesn’t change the fact that he was all about “love” between older men and boys He didn’t deserve the treatment he got – especially when you think of other horrible specimens like Bosie who were allowed to go free – but he did deserve a good smack on the head

  6. Aitziber Aitziber says:

    It is uite difficult for me to make out which parts of this biography are facts and which are one line historical records enlarged to full blown scenes by McKenna's prurient pen 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 That portrayal appears to exist only so that Wilde can keep appealing to the straight and narrow Wilde was a man who was exclusively attracted to men and in seeking to prove his sexuality was legitimate and provided him with what the relationship with his wife lacked overshot it by a mile so that every single female character in his oeuvre became an awful harpy Men in Wilde works are if not virtuous fed up with the females in their lives and forced to seek refuge in male friendships It is a way to make homosexual relationships understandable to the general public at a time where gay pride parades were unthinkableMcKenna's biography paints Wilde as fairly unlikable but he after all tried to adjust his violently heterodox life to the confines of his time It is not always possible to conuer such a feat in a way that makes one likable to subseuent generations

  7. Gerry Gerry says:

    Neil McKenna presents us with a uite different view of Oscar Wilde concentrating on Wilde's astonishing erotic odyssey through Victorian London's and elsewhere erotic underworld It is truly a tour de force drawing on a wide range of sources many of them previously unpublished perhaps not surprisinglyIt all begins so sedately even though as the author points out 'There was something different even remarkable about Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde when he arrived at Magdalen College Oxford in October 1874 Despite his sexual preferences he met and married Constance Mary Lloyd and they had two sons living a happy life in their early daysBut Wilde could not suppress his desires and he pursued his interests outside his marriage This put an enormous emotional strain on the marriage and eventually the couple became distant By that time Wilde had encouraged friendships from male prostitutes blackmailers and other undesirables And many of them were later to re emerge to speak against him at his subseuent trialsConsidering many letters were destroyed there is a plentiful supply of correspondence which describes Wilde's way of life some of it to come back to haunt him And it was his friendship with 'Bosie' Lord Alfred Douglas that brought him down as Bosie's father the Maruis of ueensberry took exception to the friendship and pursued Wilde diligentlyThe case went to court and Wilde despite being urged to flee remained to face the conseuences and they were severe for once the case against ueensberry was dismissed he was charged with gross indecency and had to stand trial on his own behalf As is well known he lost and ended up in gaol where at least he wrote two major works 'De Profundis' and 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol'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 And uite rightly he felt that he was a victim of discriminatory laws again men who loved men and that those laws were 'wrong and unjust laws'He wrote endless letters while in exile but his literary writing was over for as he replied when asked why he no longer wrote 'Because I have written all there was to write I wrote when I did not know life; now that I do know the meaning of life I have no to write Life cannot be written; life can only be lived 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' On that issue he said 'Yes I have no doubt we shall win but the road is long and red with monstrous martyrdoms' How right he was

  8. Denis Denis says:

    This is riveting and heartbreaking biography of the wonderfully talented Oscar Wilde that tells all about the writer's life in a vivid way At the heart of the book is the trial that broke down Wilde and ended up in his outrageous incarceration McKenna has left no stone unturned and you almost feel reading those pages as if he was not only in the courtroom but also in Wilde's bedroom in his friends and nemesis' houses in the cell where he was locked down That of course makes for a fascinating read and McKenna is clever enough to show all of Wilde's faces revealing a complex and tortured man behind the facade But than that this book is also a passionate cry for compassion justice and tolerance three things that sadly Wilde was denied in his lifetime The humiliating treatment he had to endure for just being gay is for us in this day and age really horrifying And there are few things sadder than Wilde's last year

  9. Nick Nick says:

    What a read The authentic flavour of the fin de siecle world at once both thrilling and appalling and a chance to learn some picturesue period euphemisms such as 'like a hyacinth' irrumination pollution labiale pedicatio coitus inter crura Latin is such a useful language to uote but a few Also a good summary of the Cleveland Street scandal And at the end of it all is the inevitable inference that whatever the mess the English ruling classes have always closed ranks to look after their own The only irritation of the book is the bizarre annotation sans footnotes

  10. Katie Farnsworth Katie Farnsworth says:

    Halfway throughthis book is making me dislike Oscar Wilde and

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