Oscar Wilde

by Richard Ellmann

Paper Book, 1987




New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1988, c1987.


Traces the life and career of Oscar Wilde from his boyhood in Dublin to his tragic death in exile at age forty-six.

User reviews

LibraryThing member brianjayjones
Richard Ellman won the Pulitzer for his work on Oscar Wilde, and with good reason: it's not only the definitive look at the Irish poet, playwright, critic, and martyr, but it's also a ripping good read. Wilde was a movie star in a time before movies, a tabloid staple, and a constant bestseller, and Ellmann makes him -- and his work -- come alive.

Following Wilde's rise to literary and theatrical fame, a series of colossally bad decisions lead to his imprisonment and disgrace -- another ending we know is coming and want desperately for our subject to avoid. In Ellmann's capable hands -- especially as he traces the poet's final frustrating years -- Wilde emerges not so much a victim of Victorian morals but rather of his own ego and genius. And we're more than ready to forgive him for it.
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LibraryThing member Hera
My favourite biography of all time. It's a wonderful, thorough and considered evaluation of Wilde's life as an artist, a public man and a family man. A truly remarkable book and in my 'all time top ten' books.
LibraryThing member Angela.Kingston
The only biography - quite simply a masterpiece. (Except for the unfortunate photograph of 'Oscar' in drag, mistakenly identified by Ellmann.)


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