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Bosie: The Man, The Poet, The Lover of Oscar Wilde

by Douglas Murray

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1972106,863 (3.64)4
"A genius yet a failure through his tormented youth, Bosie's deep and enduring friendship with Oscar Wilde continued throughout the trials and subsequent imprisonment of Wilde and on until his death in 1900. Soon after, Bosie surprisingly eloped and started a family, briefly finding tranquility both in this and in his poetry. He became great friends with George Bernard Shaw and Marie Stopes and was associated with the Bloomsbury Group. His religious devotion increased as spiralling debts cut short his happiness. Soon battles with the remainder of the Wilde circle, his father-in-law and indeed his libelling of Winston Churchill led to his own imprisonment, followed by a semi-reclusive state until his death in 1945." "Douglas Murray has succeeded where Bosie himself failed in securing the release of a Home Office file which was to be sealed until 2043. It holds the key to Bosie's state of mind while in prison and the only original workings of some of his best poetry."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)
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Remarkable biography of Alfred Douglas (a.k.a. Bosie), Oscar Wilde's nemesis. I think
I'm correct in saying that Murray was still an undergraduate when he wrote this intriguing
book.

I can't really take Wilde's literary output, but he was a fascinating man, and the 'fin-de-siecle'
world in which he moved, and the people who inhabited it with him are all fascinating. This
biography is intended (I think) to be sympathetic to Douglas, but I'm afraid that for me he
was a poisonous little man, a second rate poet, and a self-opinionated, selfish wrecker of
the life of Oscar Wilde (which is not to say that Wilde wasn't equally self-opinionated and
self-destructive). This book shines a light on this shadowy world which is both illuminating
and fascinating.

I think it was said of Byron that he was' mad, bad and dangerous to know'.

Seems to me that Douglas was 'mad, bad, sad and dangerous to know'. ( )
  captbirdseye | Feb 5, 2014 |
A fairly dry treatment of a well known story which focuses on events after The Trial of Oscar Wilde. The author draws the story into concentrating on the sad life of Alfred, Lord Douglas (Bosie), a man of obvious talent who was affected until his deathbed by the prejudices of English society at all levels. His own shortcomings, failed marriage, failed friendships, and repudiation of his homosexual self all contributed to a sense of frustration at what he saw as other people's repudiation of his own considerable talent. His one solace was the Catholic Church. A sad and cautionary tale indeed. ( )
2 vote broughtonhouse | Oct 6, 2009 |
Showing 2 of 2
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Dedicated with most sincere gratitude and in affectionate friendship to Mary, Viscountess Eccles
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The family into which Lord Alfred Douglas was born was one of the noblest houses in Scotland.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A genius yet a failure through his tormented youth, Bosie's deep and enduring friendship with Oscar Wilde continued throughout the trials and subsequent imprisonment of Wilde and on until his death in 1900. Soon after, Bosie surprisingly eloped and started a family, briefly finding tranquility both in this and in his poetry. He became great friends with George Bernard Shaw and Marie Stopes and was associated with the Bloomsbury Group. His religious devotion increased as spiralling debts cut short his happiness. Soon battles with the remainder of the Wilde circle, his father-in-law and indeed his libelling of Winston Churchill led to his own imprisonment, followed by a semi-reclusive state until his death in 1945." "Douglas Murray has succeeded where Bosie himself failed in securing the release of a Home Office file which was to be sealed until 2043. It holds the key to Bosie's state of mind while in prison and the only original workings of some of his best poetry."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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