The Fall Of The House Of Wilde

The Fall Of The House Of Wilde by Emer O'Sullivan
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Date Released
153 x 234mm
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Other Titles by Emer O'Sullivan

Oscar Wilde owed his most outstanding characteristics - his precocious intellectualism, his nimble-wittedness, his flamboyance, his hedonism, his recklessness, his pride, his sense of superiority, his liberal sexual values - to his parents. ..Oscar was the son of Sir William Wilde, one of the most eminent Victorian men of his generation. Accutely conscious of injustices in the social order, Sir William laid the foundations for the Celtic cultural renaissance in the belief that culture would establish a common ground between the privileged and the poor, Protestant and Catholic. But he was also a philanderer. When Sir William stood accused of sexually assaulting a young female patient, the scandal and trial sent shock waves through Dublin society. Oscar's mother, Lady Jane Wilde, rose to public prominence as a political journalist, advocating in 1848 a rebellion against colonialism. Proud, involved and challenging, she became a salon hostess and opened the Wilde home at No. 1 Merrion Square to the public. Known as the most scintillating and stirring hostess of her day, she passed on her infectious delight in the art of living to Oscar, who imbibed it greedily. ..After the Sir William's public disgrace and death in 1876, Jane moved her family to London where Oscar burst upon the London scene with ineffable superiority, and at once set upon the task of inventing himself. America started the legend, and in no time his face was one of the most photographed on both sides of the Atlantic. The one role he failed to triumph in was that of the Victorian husband, as his wife, Constance, was to discover. For beneath the swelling forehead was a self-destructive itch. A lifelong devourer of public attention, Oscar never knew when the party was over. Ultimately, his trial heralded the death of decadence and also of Oscar Wilde. It deprived him irrecoverably of the power to be loved and to write, which for him were intimately linked. ..The Wilde family was one of the most dazzling Anglo-Irish families in Victorian Ireland. But their enlightened questioning of the governing order fuelled the rise of Irish nationalism and their newfound belief in Irishness, which they had fermented ended by toppling the Protestant ruling classes and the Wilde family in particular. ..The Fall of the House of Wilde is a remarkable and perceptive account not only of one of the most prominent families of the late nineteenth century but also of his remarkable family and social context.
Publication Date:
01 / 07 / 2016
153 x 234mm

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