WEFOUNDThe Life of Oscar Wilde


Большой Лебовски (1998)
# 167 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Johnny Depp »
# 108 on STARmeter

Triest in the year 1911. Ernesto is the priviliged, seventeen year old son of a jewish mother and a non-jewish father, who has deserted his family. He is raised by his uncle Giovanni and ... See full summary  »

Большой Лебовски (1998)
# 167 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Johnny Depp »
# 108 on STARmeter

Triest in the year 1911. Ernesto is the priviliged, seventeen year old son of a jewish mother and a non-jewish father, who has deserted his family. He is raised by his uncle Giovanni and ... See full summary  »

This essay contradicts myths often found in popular writing about Oscar Wilde: (1) Wilde was an aristocrat; (2) Victorians knew nothing about homosexuality; (3) Wilde was put on trial for being a homosexual; (4) once Wilde was on trial, his conviction was inevitable; and (5) after the trials, Wilde disappeared. It concludes by speculating on future directions for work on Wilde and sexuality.

While Queensberry intended this phrase as an insult, exactly what “posing Somdomite” means is not clear.  In the trials, it was taken to mean “posing as sodomite.”  In the official language of the indictment, Queensberry was said to have delivered a card

to the tenor and effect following that is to say “For Oscar Wilde posing as somdomite” meaning thereby that the said Oscar Final O’fflahertie Wills Wilde had committed and was in the habit of committing the abominable crime of buggery with mankind to the great damage scandal and disgrace of the said Oscar Fingal O’fflahertie Wills Wilde to the evil example of all others in the like case offending and against the peace of our said Lady the Queen her Crown and dignity. (qtd. in Holland 285)

T he jacket of this entrancing biography conflates two photographs to present one perfect whole: the ideal husband and his perfect family. Pretty, large-eyed Constance, dressed in the soft aesthetic style she helped to make fashionable, is embraced by the older of the couple's two small sons. Oscar, sporting a new short haircut and sober buttoned-up jacket, looks gravely at the camera. He holds aloft an unlit cigarette. Visiting the Wildes' smart Chelsea home on Christmas day, 1888 (the year before these photographs were taken), WB Yeats noted a life of perfect harmony that suggested, nevertheless, "some deliberate artistic composition". Yeats's observation was both shrewd and misleading.

In 1888, Constance Lloyd had known Oscar Wilde for nine years; she had been married to him for four. Her love for her brilliant husband ("As long as I live you shall be my lover," she wrote in answer to his proposal in 1883) was fully returned. "I feel incomplete without you," Oscar told her shortly after their marriage. A proud new father, he couldn't stop urging male friends to get married.

Warning had been given. By the summer of 1892, Bosie Douglas had usurped Constance's place. But following Wilde's break with his expensive, tempestuous and untalented young lover (Bosie's translation from the French of Wilde's Salome was so poor that it had to be rewritten by the embarrassed author), it was Constance who succumbed to Lord Alfred's pleas. In February 1894, she invited him to return.

Большой Лебовски (1998)
# 167 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Johnny Depp »
# 108 on STARmeter

Triest in the year 1911. Ernesto is the priviliged, seventeen year old son of a jewish mother and a non-jewish father, who has deserted his family. He is raised by his uncle Giovanni and ... See full summary  »

This essay contradicts myths often found in popular writing about Oscar Wilde: (1) Wilde was an aristocrat; (2) Victorians knew nothing about homosexuality; (3) Wilde was put on trial for being a homosexual; (4) once Wilde was on trial, his conviction was inevitable; and (5) after the trials, Wilde disappeared. It concludes by speculating on future directions for work on Wilde and sexuality.

While Queensberry intended this phrase as an insult, exactly what “posing Somdomite” means is not clear.  In the trials, it was taken to mean “posing as sodomite.”  In the official language of the indictment, Queensberry was said to have delivered a card

to the tenor and effect following that is to say “For Oscar Wilde posing as somdomite” meaning thereby that the said Oscar Final O’fflahertie Wills Wilde had committed and was in the habit of committing the abominable crime of buggery with mankind to the great damage scandal and disgrace of the said Oscar Fingal O’fflahertie Wills Wilde to the evil example of all others in the like case offending and against the peace of our said Lady the Queen her Crown and dignity. (qtd. in Holland 285)

T he jacket of this entrancing biography conflates two photographs to present one perfect whole: the ideal husband and his perfect family. Pretty, large-eyed Constance, dressed in the soft aesthetic style she helped to make fashionable, is embraced by the older of the couple's two small sons. Oscar, sporting a new short haircut and sober buttoned-up jacket, looks gravely at the camera. He holds aloft an unlit cigarette. Visiting the Wildes' smart Chelsea home on Christmas day, 1888 (the year before these photographs were taken), WB Yeats noted a life of perfect harmony that suggested, nevertheless, "some deliberate artistic composition". Yeats's observation was both shrewd and misleading.

In 1888, Constance Lloyd had known Oscar Wilde for nine years; she had been married to him for four. Her love for her brilliant husband ("As long as I live you shall be my lover," she wrote in answer to his proposal in 1883) was fully returned. "I feel incomplete without you," Oscar told her shortly after their marriage. A proud new father, he couldn't stop urging male friends to get married.

Warning had been given. By the summer of 1892, Bosie Douglas had usurped Constance's place. But following Wilde's break with his expensive, tempestuous and untalented young lover (Bosie's translation from the French of Wilde's Salome was so poor that it had to be rewritten by the embarrassed author), it was Constance who succumbed to Lord Alfred's pleas. In February 1894, she invited him to return.

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Большой Лебовски (1998)
# 167 on IMDb Top Rated Movies »

Johnny Depp »
# 108 on STARmeter

Triest in the year 1911. Ernesto is the priviliged, seventeen year old son of a jewish mother and a non-jewish father, who has deserted his family. He is raised by his uncle Giovanni and ... See full summary  »

This essay contradicts myths often found in popular writing about Oscar Wilde: (1) Wilde was an aristocrat; (2) Victorians knew nothing about homosexuality; (3) Wilde was put on trial for being a homosexual; (4) once Wilde was on trial, his conviction was inevitable; and (5) after the trials, Wilde disappeared. It concludes by speculating on future directions for work on Wilde and sexuality.

While Queensberry intended this phrase as an insult, exactly what “posing Somdomite” means is not clear.  In the trials, it was taken to mean “posing as sodomite.”  In the official language of the indictment, Queensberry was said to have delivered a card

to the tenor and effect following that is to say “For Oscar Wilde posing as somdomite” meaning thereby that the said Oscar Final O’fflahertie Wills Wilde had committed and was in the habit of committing the abominable crime of buggery with mankind to the great damage scandal and disgrace of the said Oscar Fingal O’fflahertie Wills Wilde to the evil example of all others in the like case offending and against the peace of our said Lady the Queen her Crown and dignity. (qtd. in Holland 285)


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