I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation is a celebration of the virtuoso of well-turned phrases and the master of the studied insult - Oscar Wilde. Indeed, so perfect were Wilde's verbal thrusts that his victims were often flattered to have been the cause of them. His needle-sharp rejoinders were repeated with delight - not least by Wilde himself, who took an artist's pride in his work. Yet for all that, his jibes were rarely cruel, for behind them lay great warmth of character, generosity of spirit, and a profound understanding of human life and its vanities. This book shows us why, more than a hundred years after his death, people of every age and from all walks of life are still drawn to Wilde's dazzling repartee and the wicked brilliance of his social observations, while his plays and stories continue to entertain and enthral succeeding generations.
Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford where, a disciple of Pater, he founded an aesthetic cult. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and his two sons were born in 1885 and 1886.
His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), established his reputation. In 1895, following his libel action against the Marquess of Queesberry, Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for homosexual conduct, as a result of which he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and his confessional letter De Profundis (1905). On his release from prison in 1897 he lived in obscurity in Europe, and died in Paris in 1900.