Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century
Author: Philip Hoare
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year that Sir Ian McKellen called “a shocking tale of heroes and villains—illuminating and upsetting in equal measure.” The first production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in 1918, with American exotic dancer Maud Allan dancing lead, ignited a firestorm in London spearheaded by Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament and self-appointed guardian of family values. Billing attacked Allan in the right-wing newspaper Vigilante as a member of the “Cult of the Clitoris,” a feminine version of the “Cult of the Wilde,” a catchall for the degeneracy and perversion he was convinced had infected the land. He claimed that a black book was in the hands of their enemies the Germans, a book that contained the names of thousands of the British establishment who without doubt were members of the cult. Threat of exposure was costing England the war. Allan sued Billing for libel, and the ensuing trial, brought to life in this authoritative, spellbinding book, held the world in thrall. Was there or was there not a black book? What names did it contain? The trial was both hugely entertaining and deadly serious and raised specters of hysteria, homophobia, and paranoia that, like Oscar Wilde himself, continue to haunt us. As in Wilde’s own trial in 1895, libel was hardly the issue; the fight was for control over the country’s moral compass. In Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, biographer and historian Philip Hoare gives us the full drama of the Billing trial, gavel to gavel, and brings to life this unique, bizarre, and fascinating event. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Oscar Wilde is remembered as a wit and a dandy, as a gay martyr, and as a brilliant writer, but his philosophical depth and political radicalism are often forgotten. Resist Everything Except Temptation locates Wilde in the tradition of left-wing anarchism, and argues that only when we take his politics seriously can we begin to understand the man, his life, and his work. Drawing from literary, historical, and biographical evidence, including archival research, the book outlines the philosophical influences and political implications of Wilde's ideas on art, sex, morality, violence, and above all, individualism. Williams raises questions about the relationships between culture and politics, between utopian aspirations and practical programs, and between individualism, group identity, and class struggle. The resulting volume represents, not merely a historical curiosity, but a contribution to current debates within political theory and a salvo in the broader culture wars.
Palgrave Advances in Oscar Wilde Studies is a comprehensive guide to recent critical approaches. Topics covered include Gay Studies, Feminist Criticism, Material Culture, Religion, Philosophy, Performance Studies, Aestheticism, Biography, Textual Studies and Postcolonial Theory. The book is designed to acquaint readers of all levels with the history of scholarship in a range of fields and suggest ways that Wilde's work offer new areas for research. The collection also provides a Chronology and detailed bibliography.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Oscar Wilde, Trinity College's School of English held a conference on the Wilde family. This book is the proceedings of the conference. The Wilde family was prominent, sometimes sensationally so, in the literary, scholarly, political and professional milieus of Victorian Dublin and then London. D. Coakley sketches in the social and professional background of the family; Peter Froggat and Michael Ryan assess the enduring value of Sir William Wilde's work as medical historian and statistician, and as archaeologist and antiquarian; Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin looks at the role of Oscar's mother, Speranza, as an ancestor-figure for a contemporary woman writer. Lucy McDiarmid and Alan Sinfield write on Wilde's trials and on the scandalous reverberations of his name in the 20th century. Robert Dunbar places Oscar Wilde's stories for children in their Victorian context, while Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy considers their trans-formation into the successful theatre adaptation, The Star-Child. Wilde's plays are the subject of a lively discussion between distinguished Irish play-wrights and producers, Marina Carr, Thomas Kilroy, Michael Colgan and Patrick Mason.
“One should either wear a work of art, or be a work of art,” Oscar Wilde once declared. In The Invention of Oscar Wilde, Nicholas Frankel explores Wilde’s self-creation as a “work of art” and a carefully constructed cultural icon. Frankel takes readers on a journey through Wilde’s inventive, provocative life, from his Irish origins—and their public erasure—through his challenges to traditional concepts of masculinity and male sexuality, his marriage and his affairs with young men, including his great love Lord Alfred Douglas, to his criminal conviction and final years of exile in France. Along the way, Frankel takes a deep look at Wilde’s writings, paradoxical wit, and intellectual convictions.
Against the backdrop of the polarized debate on the ethical significance of storytelling, Hanna Meretoja's The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible develops a nuanced framework for exploring the ethical complexity of the roles narratives play in our lives. Focusing on how narratives enlarge and diminish the spaces of possibilities in which we act, think, and re-imagine the world together with others, this book proposes a theoretical-analytical framework for engaging with both the ethical potential and risks of storytelling. Further, it elaborates a narrative hermeneutics that treats narratives as culturally mediated practices of (re)interpreting experiences and articulates how narratives can be oppressive, empowering, or both. It also argues that the relationship between narrative unconscious and narrative imagination shapes our sense of the possible. In her book, Meretoja develops a hermeneutic narrative ethics that differentiates between six dimensions of the ethical potential of storytelling: the power of narratives to cultivate our sense of the possible; to contribute to individual and cultural self-understanding; to enable understanding other lives non-subsumptively in their singularity; to transform the narrative in-betweens that bind people together; to develop our perspective-awareness and capacity for perspective-taking; and to function as a form of ethical inquiry. This book addresses our implication in violent histories and argues that it is as dialogic storytellers, fundamentally vulnerable and dependent on one another, that we become who we are: both as individuals and communities. The Ethics of Storytelling seamlessly incorporates narrative ethics, literary narrative studies, narrative psychology, narrative philosophy, and cultural memory studies. It contributes to contemporary interdisciplinary narrative studies by developing narrative hermeneutics as a philosophically rigorous, historically sensitive, and analytically subtle approach to the ethical stakes of the debate on the narrative dimension of human existence.