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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
John Clifford Mortimer
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Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson and a noted researcher and archivist, has discovered the original transcript of the trial that led to his grandfather's tragedy. Here for the first time is the true, uncensored record, free of the distortions and censorship of previous accounts.
On 18 February 1895, Bosie's father delivered a note to the Albemarle Club addressed to "Oscar Wilde posing as a somdomite sic]." With Bosie's encouragement, Wilde decided to sue the Marquess for libel. As soon as the trial opened, London's literary darling was at the center of the greatest scandal of his time.
Wilde's fall from grace was swift: having lost this case, he was in turn prosecuted and later imprisoned. Bankrupted, he fled to Paris never to see his family again. Within five years he was dead, his health never having recovered from the years in Reading gaol.
This remarkable book reveals Wilde on trial for his life, though he did not know it -- his confidence ebbing under the relentless cross-questioning, the wit for which he was so celebrated gradually deserting him under the remorseless scrutiny. The tragic climax falls when Wilde is betrayed by his own cleverness, unconsciously playinginto the prosecutor's hands. With that his cause is lost.
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