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Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters
 
 

Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters [Kindle Edition]

Oscar Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £17.99
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Review


"The publication of a selected edition of Oscar Wilde in the Oxford Authors series allows readers and teachers the welcome choice of well annotated and partially authoritative versions of some major texts arranged categorically by genre....Will serve splendidly as an introductory text."--English Language in Transition

Review

ON THE COMPLETE LETTERS OF OSCAR WILDE:

‘The long serpentine line of Oscar Wilde's career is traced here like some fiery scarlet thread. This is a marvellous volume, fully worthy of Wilde's own genius.' The Times

'A whole world is here. *****' Mail on Sunday

'The year's unputdownable joy.' Spectator

'The next best thing to Wilde's own presence. Opening this book, one walks into the company of a spirit so large and generous, of such dash and charm, that one is grateful such largesse has been captured at the very moment it is being distributed – to those recipients who were once as eager, as amused, as captivated as the readers of these letters will be today.' Irish Times

'Nowhere does he seem more sympathetic, or more engaging. The letters bring you as close as you can get to the man himself – warts and all, but magic and all as well. You get a wonderful sense, such as even the best biography couldn't quite give, of Wilde in action from day to day – living in the thick of society, hustling his career forward. Perpetually gripping.' Sunday Telegraph

'Here we have the whole triumph-to-tragedy in the writer's own wonderful words.' Literary Review


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 747 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (7 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0044DE974
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #341,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This charming little volume offers a glittering selection of Wilde's poetry. Like all of the titles in the Everyman's Poetry series, it has the virtue of being inexpensive and portable. It also contains a biographical note, very useful chronologies of Wilde's life and times, a valuable and readable Introduction, and informative notes. All this guarantees its appeal to the general reader and makes it accessible to final year secondary and undergraduate students who, all too often these days, are introduced to the works of poets via a narrow selection in an anthology.
I bought my copy to determine whether I should purchase multiple copies for my English Studies class with which I aimed to read some of Wilde's 'political' and Roman Catholic 'devotional' poems - such as 'San Miniato', 'Madonna Mia' and 'On hearing the Dies Irae sung in the Sistine Chapel' - while also exploring some crucial literary distinctions between plagiarism, imitation and stylization. Despite the absence of 'Sonnet on the Massacre of the Christians in Bulgaria' - which I'd wanted to place alongside Milton's 'On the Late Massacre in Piedmont' - I found that the volume would fulfil our needs admirably, and offer much more besides.
My previous familiarity with Wilde's poems - apart from his famous 'Ballad of Reading Gaol' which concludes the selection made here - had been restricted to a precious copy of the fourth edition. Simply titled Poems., this was published in 1882 by David Bogue on Dutch hand made paper and is exquisitely bound in parchment heavily embossed with small flowers of gold.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The most memorable or 'haunting' poem in this collection is 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol'. With its 'realism' and provocative didacticism, it raises questions not so much about psychology and the anxiety of, or instrumental nature of, 'influence' as about justice and the human condition. Questions about 'the darkening prison house of the modern world', about the naming of spectres and acknowledging their gifts ...
Is 'God's kindly earth' 'kindlier than men know'?
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of How to Enjoy Life and Be Miserable -- All at Once 3 Feb 2003
By paisleymonsoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked this book up in a used book store for [money] more than when it was purchased new in 1960. The pages literally crumbled as I turned them, but I couldn't put the book down. I was enthralled with the life of Oscar Wilde. Now, this biography isn't one written years after the subject's death from scraps of information. No. This is written by a very close friend of Wilde's, Frank Harris. In being written by someone of such closeness, it lends credence to the harsh words the author had to say of Wilde. Harris calls him lazy and slothenly. Of course, Wilde caused quite a sensation in his time. He was imprisoned under other pretenses, but mainly because he was a homosexual in a time period when this was not acceptable. Oscar was one who did not care what others thought of him. He was determined to live a life of pleasure and to make money doing things that he liked: writing and speaking. However, he did a great deal of leaching off of others. There's no denying Wilde's genius. I have yet to read any of his works except for a short essay entitled "The Soul of Man Under Socialism." To me, the thoughts seemed profound. But Harris says that Oscar never said or wrote anything original; he merely took other people's thoughts, meshed them together, and said them in a more profound way. This is a biography that reads like a fine story. Harris is a great writer and has more first-hand knowledge of his subject than any other biographer that I've read. I'd reccomend this book to others without reservation.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The best life of Oscar Wilde", said George Bernard Shaw. 8 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The best life of Oscar Wilde", said George Bernard Shaw after reading this book. I cannot but agree with him utterly. No unnecesary data is wasted, no long reflexions bore us. It's just an Oscar's very close friend telling us with great elegance and delicacy the story of one he has admired and loved so much, but without fear of saying the truth. Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. Of course, the reader has to know Mr Harris is the true "lead actor" in the story he's telling us, always supporting the Truth and the Right. But one can easily forgive him for that in reward for the great moments un Oscar's life he's saved from oblivion and darkness. A wonderful work of art itself, this biography must be read by every admirer of that Prince of Charm Oscar Wilde was. X. Careaga
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars biography as art 21 April 2005
By Gene Cisco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One cannot improve upon the remarks fore-mentioned of George Bernard Shaw's. Long before public figures of no talent were thrust upon us, literate minds instead of marketeers gathered around the chosen few as johnny-come-latelys and would rarely disappoint. This is a thrilling,gripping read.Style,tact and endless grace in words for a tragic,painful public artist run throughout this personal account.Much can be gained from savoring this moment in time if one aspires celebrity and fame and wants to avoid its dizzying pitfalls.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars harris intellect can stand up to wilde's 29 Mar 2006
By Douglas E. Libert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
this book is a work of art and is the primary source of all the biographies of Wilde. I particularly liked the last part of the book where Harris debates Wilde about male to male love vs. male to female love.Harris is plainly not intimidated by Wilde's witticism's and keeps to a serious vein without being rankled or becoming victimized by Wilde's ability to trivialize subjects with a veneer of parody. Among more of Harris insights is the statement that Bosie,(Wilde's "lover") and Bosie's father the Marquiss of Quennsbury are really 2 opposite ends of the same log.Harris biography seems more like a piece of literature and the life of Wilde,could even Dickens have thought up such a character as Oscar Wilde,I know Poe did!!
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