One of the greatest playwrights in the English language, Oscar Wilde was also a legendary wit and a poetic provocateur. He was put on trial and sentenced to two years of hard labor for “gross indecency” by the same English society whose hypocrisy he had put on stage to great effect. His refusal to renounce his homosexuality and love for Lord Alfred Douglas (“Bosie”) made him first a martyr and later an icon for free love and a myth onto himself. This edition of surviving letters that Wilde wrote to his “own dear darling boy” is a testament to the enduring power and radical force of love. Included are the introductory essays by legendary bookseller A. S. W. Rosenbach and philanthropist William Clark, who first published these letters in 1924, and a little-known letter from Douglas to Wilde.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish playwright, poet, and novelist, known for his biting wit, defense of aesthetics, and defiance of social conventions. The author of celebrated comedies, including The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband, and the iconic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, spent the last years of his life in exile in France, supported by only a few friends. Today his grave is a site of pilgrimage for anyone who believes in free love.
Ulrich Baer holds degrees from Harvard and Yale, has been awarded Guggenheim, Getty, and Humboldt fellowships, and is University Professor at New York University. He has published books on poetry, photography, and free speech, a novel, short stories, and edited Dickinson, Nietzsche, Rilke, Shakespeare, and Wilde on Love.
“I think of you always, and love you always, but chasms of moonless nights divide us. We cannot cross it without hideous and nameless peril.” —Wilde to Bosie, June 17, 1897
Price: $12.95 (paperback) | $9.99 (ebook)
Illustrations: 4 (b/w)
Book dimensions: 5.06 x .35 x 7.81 in
Published: August 18, 2021