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The Marquess of Queensberry: Wilde's Nemesis [Hardcover]

Linda Stratmann
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

26 Mar 2013
The Marquess of Queensberry is as famous for his role in the downfall of one of our greatest literary geniuses as he was for helping establish the rules for modern-day boxing. The trial and two-year imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, lover of Queensberry's son, Lord Alfred Douglas, remains one of literary history's great tragedies. However, Linda Stratmann's riveting biography of the marquess paints a far more complex picture by drawing on new sources and unpublished letters. Throughout his life, Queensberry was emotionally damaged by a series of tragedies, and the events of the Wilde affair told for the first time from the marquess's perspective were directly linked to Queensberry's personal crises. Through the retelling of pivotal events from Queensberry's life; the death of his brother on the Matterhorn, and his fruitless search for the body; the suicide of his father, brother and eldest son; the book reveals a well-meaning man often stricken with a grief he found hard to express, who deserves our compassion.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (26 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300173806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300173802
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.6 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda was born in Leicester in 1948 and first started scribbling stories and poems at the age of six. She became interested in true crime when watching Edgar Lustgarten on TV in the 1950s. Linda attended Wyggeston Girls Grammar School, trained to be a chemists dispenser, and later studied at Newcastle University where she obtained a first in Psychology. She then spent 27 years in the civil service before leaving to devote her time to writing. Linda loves spending time in libraries and archives and really enjoys giving talks on her subject. Visit linda at her website

Product Description


'As one reads, with great enjoyment, this impeccably researched study, one is reminded once again of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and the words of the painter, Basil Hallward. 'Every portrait that is painted with feeling', he says, 'is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.''--Jonathan Barnes, "TLS"--Jonathan Barnes"TLS" (06/06/2014)

About the Author

Linda Stratmann is the author of eleven books including 'Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion', 'Notorious Blasted Rascal' and 'Greater London Murders'. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Well Argued and Researched 13 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'd read a couple of adverse newspaper reviews before buying this book and as a life long avid consumer of all books on Wilde and his circle I was keen to read it and form my own opinion. By adverse I mean the reviews opined that Linda Stratman's study was a failed attempt at rehabilitating Queensbury, Well, my view is that it does a very successful job at revealing most of the true character behind a man who has been a cardboard cutout for over a hundred years with a melodramatic walk-on part in the Wilde drama. You would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathise with a man who endured so much personal tragedy - his father committed suicide, his brother died on the Alps on the eve of Q's 21st birthday celebration, and his eldest son shot himself (almost certainly suicide) shortly before announcing his engagement. Queensbury also had very personal issues, not least being a loss of virility (his penis became broken either from one of his many riding falls or over-vigorous intercourse) and he almost certainly had syphilis. In his 40s he became a seething mass of resentment and often unbridled anger.

I deplore the trend of recent years whereby actions and characters in history are judged against current mores and condemned accordingly. Some silly historians are even guilty of this unfortunately. We are all prisoners of the era we live in and Queensbury, although possessing some surprisingly 21st century views (he was branded a crackpot for advocating cremation), was no exception. Wilde was the author of his own downfall and was surprisingly stupid, for a well above average intelligent man, to get involved in a family dispute between Bosie, his spoiled, bitter, and totally selfish lover, and Bosie's father, Queensbury.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the marquess of queensberry 18 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was a very well researched book giving a much more balanced view of a difficult and strange man . It certainly kept me interested to the last page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuine much needed Contribution. 19 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a real attempt to explain how the public spectacle between the two radical but very different individuals came about. This biography gets past the previous bios that quoted each other /gossip etc, and has long been needed. A book to join all the others that stands out in its research and reality.
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