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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446456828
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 752

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

This sensational new biography of Wilde is based on the author's discovery of some unpublished and little-known source material, relating particularly to his sex life.

Neil McKenna argues that our view of Oscar Wilde, even after Ellman's magisterial volume, is determined by Victorian sentimentality. In his own much more modern version of Wilde's story, he is not only extremely promiscuous but also a sort of campaigner for sexual freedom. He reveals, for example, that Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas was not an idealistic doting on a beautiful boy, but that Bosie was the more dominant, experienced of the two, who used to go out hunting together for young boys. Wilde's last days in Paris were not, McKenna shows, miserable and defeated; Paris was for him an idyllic, sensual and intellectual playground free from the narrowness of London.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446456828
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 752

About the Author

Neil McKenna

Neil McKenna is a freelance journalist, particularly for the Guardian and the Independent and a freelance producer and researcher for Channel 4. He is a notable campaigner for gay rights - the Clause 24 debate being largely a result of his work.

Praise for The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde

“A groundbreaking new biography of our greatest queer martyr”


“It cannot be recommended too highly. Extraordinary, intensely passionate and quite beautiful”

Manchester Evening News

“This is by far and away the best biography of Oscar Wilde to date”

John McRae, Professor of Literature

“a bold book”


“Intriguing and entertaining...McKenna makes an impassioned case for re-gaying Wilde”

The Times

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