HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann
Loading...

Oscar Wilde (1987)

by Richard Ellmann

Other authors: Oscar Wilde (Subject)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,62787,191 (4.28)84
In this long-awaited bioraphy, Wilde the legendary Victorian - brilliant writer and conversationalist, reckless flouter of social and sexual conventions - is brought to life. More astute and forbearing, yet more fallible than legend has allowed, Wilde is given here the dimensions of a modern hero. Based on fresh material from many hitherto-untapped sources, Ellmann depicts Wilde's comet-like ascent on the Victorian scene and his equally dramatic sudden eclipse. His Irish background, the actresses to whom he paid court, his unfortunate wife and lovers, his clothes, coiffures, and the decor of his rooms - all are presented here in vivid detail. The saga of his 1882 American tour is recounted with a wealth of new details; also his later impact on the bastions of the French literary establishment. The London of the Nineties, of Whistler and the Pre-Raphaelites, Lillie Langtry and the Prince of Wales, is evoked alongside Paris of the "belle epoque" and the Greece, Italy and North Africa of Wilde'stravels. Ellmann's definitive critical account of Wilde's entire oeuvre shows him as the proponent of a radical new aesthetic who was perilously at odds with Victorian society. After his period of success and daring, the fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas is followed by exposure, imprisonment, a few wretched years abroad and death in exile. The tragic end of Wilde's life leaves the reader with a sense of compassion and grief for the protagonist. This edition make the popular and best selling biography available in paperback for the first time.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 84 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
The only biography - quite simply a masterpiece. (Except for the unfortunate photograph of 'Oscar' in drag, mistakenly identified by Ellmann.) ( )
  Angela.Kingston | May 1, 2013 |
Maybe the best literary biography ever written. ( )
  JayLivernois | Oct 28, 2009 |
Richard Ellman won the Pulitzer for his work on Oscar Wilde, and with good reason: it's not only the definitive look at the Irish poet, playwright, critic, and martyr, but it's also a ripping good read. Wilde was a movie star in a time before movies, a tabloid staple, and a constant bestseller, and Ellmann makes him -- and his work -- come alive.

Following Wilde's rise to literary and theatrical fame, a series of colossally bad decisions lead to his imprisonment and disgrace -- another ending we know is coming and want desperately for our subject to avoid. In Ellmann's capable hands -- especially as he traces the poet's final frustrating years -- Wilde emerges not so much a victim of Victorian morals but rather of his own ego and genius. And we're more than ready to forgive him for it. ( )
2 vote brianjayjones | Jun 17, 2009 |
There is no doubt about the quality of this biography. Every facet of Wilde is revealed in careful context and Ellmann is in sympathy with this larger than life character "laughing and weeping with parables and paradoxes".
He shows Wilde to be an extreme egoist who diligently builds up his "succès de scandale" seeking extensive letters of introduction before visiting America or France and pushing for meetings with the artistically famous. He becomes the leading "decadent" in already decadent late Victorian society with his silly aphorisms eg. "It's always a mistake to be innocent. To be criminal takes imagination and courage" - "the perfect hedonist is the saint ..... one is always good when one is happy" etc. etc. As a fashion socialist he forsees with approval the "annihilation of property, family life, marriage and jealousy" and he certainly annihilated his own marriage with his lies, broken promises and homosexual relationships.
He ends his life a lonely and penniless vagabond around Paris cafés.
A good book but I don't like the subject. ( )
  Miro | Mar 22, 2009 |
Many biographies have subtitles such as "his/her life and times", but few live up to it. This work more than meets the test in its comprehensive look at both, and will cause the reader to rush out and read more either about or written by Wilde. Tremendous writing! ( )
  doko | Feb 15, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellmann, RichardAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilde, OscarSubjectsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.28)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5
3 22
3.5 8
4 53
4.5 16
5 76

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 142,396,515 books! | Top bar: Always visible