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Wilde: An Introduction to Oscar Wilde and His World

By Jonathan Fryer

This is the story of how Oscar Wilde pierced the bubble of Victorian pomposity.

Oscar Wilde, self-styled master of the bon mot turned Victorian bogeyman, was resurrected by a more liberal age as St Oscar, slayer of the dragons of pomposity, hypocrisy and cant. The fat Irishman with the golden tongue had posthumously proved that the world is not black and white. 

His wit and his paradoxes were understood as profound and moral; his best plays were recognised as gems of English comedy. Perhaps above all, his life, brilliance and popularity highlighted the failings and baseless self-righteousness of the establishment through contrast alone.

Jonathan Fryer’s Wilde is more than just a meticulously-researched biography. It accurately contextualises a man who has, in some ways, become part of the literary establishment himself with the passing of time, and brings a freshness and vivacity to his story. This is a must-read for all fans of Wilde, and those who enjoy fine biographies.

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