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Oscar's Ghost
Oscar's Ghost

Oscar's Ghost

The Battle for Oscar Wilde's Legacy

HISTORY

400 Pages, 6.14 x 9.21

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $32.95 (US $32.95) (CA $43.95)

Publication Date: August 2017

ISBN 9781445662589

Rights: US & CA

Amberley Publishing (Aug 2017)

Price: $32.95
 
 

Overview

The dramatic story of the legal and emotional battle that raged between two of Oscar Wilde's closest friends following the playwright's death

‘In all his life [Oscar] has never written me a letter that was unkind or at least unloving and to see anything terrible in his handwriting written directly to me would almost kill me.’This was written by Lord Alfred Douglas in 1897, before the contents of Oscar Wilde’s long letter written in prison and addressed to Douglas, De Profundis, were revealed; in which Wilde indicted Lord Alfred’s vanity and blamed him for his downfall ? ‘appetite without distinction, desire without limit, and formless greed’.Years after Oscar Wilde’s death, two of his closest friends, Lord Alfred Douglas and his literary executor Robert Ross ? both former lovers ? engaged in a bitter battle over Wilde’s legacy and who was to blame for his downfall and early death. The centrepiece of the conflict was Ross’s handling of Wilde’s prison manuscript, De Profundis. The furious struggle led to stalking, blackmail, witness tampering, prison, and a series of dramatic lawsuits. The feud had long-lasting repercussions, not only for the two men, but also for how we remember Oscar Wilde today.Oscar's Ghost includes previously unpublished information about one of the most mysterious figures in the Wilde scandal, Maurice Schwabe, who set in motion the chain of events that led to the playwright's imprisonment.Ross was systematic, had more friends, and as Wilde's executor had access to all of Wilde's papers, including personal letters from Douglas to Wilde; as the controller of Wilde’s copyright, he had sole discretion as to which of Wilde’s views of Douglas could be published. Douglas had a tenacious fighting spirit, and the sense of entitlement that came with being a lord.This is the first book to focus on the heated feud and to assess the motivations, misconceptions, and actions of all parties involved.

Reviews

"compelling reading."—The New Criterion

Author Biography

Laura Lee is the author of fifteen books, including 'Blame It on the Rain' (HarperCollins) and the best-selling 'Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation'. She has a degree in Theatre from Oakland University, and alongside her writing career she has worked as a morning radio DJ, an improvisational comedian, a speech writer and a public relations director for a touring Russian ballet company. She lives in Michigan.