A powerful – and controversial – study of the brilliant and tragic life of Oscar Wilde, and his lifelong spiritual search.
The great poet, satirist and playwright, Oscar Wilde, is as misunderstood today as he was in his own time…
Vilified by fellow Victorians for his sexuality and his dandyism, these days he is hailed as a progressive sexual liberator. But this is not how Wilde saw himself. His actions and pretences did not bring him happiness and fulfilment: his art did. This is where Pearce’s search for the man behind the masks begins.
This powerful new study of Wilde’s brilliant and tragic life is published on the Centenary of his death. Rather than lingering on the mistakes which brought him notoriety, it explores follows the emotional and spiritual search of this fascinating literary figure.
It uncovers how his ‘heart of stone’ was broken by his two-year prison sentence; it probes the deeper thinking behind masterpieces such as ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ and ‘De Profundis’; and it traces his fascination with Catholicism through to his eleventh-hour conversion.