Criticized by fellow Victorians for his sexuality and his dandyism, Oscar Wilde, the great poet, satirist and playwright, is hailed today, in some circles, as a progressive sexual liberator. But this image is not how Wilde saw himself.
Joseph Pearce’s biography strips away pretensions to show the real man, his aspirations and desires. It uncovers how he was broken by his prison sentence; it probes the deeper thinking behind masterpieces such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and De Profundis; and it traces his fascination with Catholicism through to his eleventh-hour conversion.
Pearce removes the disguises and reveals the Wilde beneath the surface. He has written a profound, wide-ranging study with many original insights on a great literary figure.