Buy Used
£3.21
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by FT Books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: We are certain you will be delighted with our high level of customer service. all our books are in 'Good' or better condition and we ship daily from our UK warehouse.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Oscar Wilde Hardcover – 1 Feb 1988

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£24.79 £3.21
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf (Feb. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394554841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394554846
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

The biography sensitive to the tragic pattern of the story of a great subject: Oscar Wilde - psychologically and sexually complicated, enormously quotable, central to a alluring cultural world and someone whose life assumed an unbearably dramatic shape. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ellmann was the Goldsmiths Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful, in every aspect; one that genuinely deserves its 5 star rating. Ellmann has written a biography that must make other biographers jealous, as I've never read one that comes close to this in terms of depth, honesty and breadth of knowledge. I've been reading Wilde for years and thought I knew a lot about him; yet there are details in here about his life that I knew nothing about. It's like discovering Oscar Wilde all over again.
One of the things that makes this book so powerful is the tremendous feeling of empathy you get for Wilde from Ellmann. Reading the tragic episodes that constitiuted Wilde's life and death is often painful, especially towards the end.
But it's not all about the life that most people remember him for these days - sometimes we forget that Oscar had a successful career as a journalist and lecturer on both sides of the Atlantic, and learning about his days at Oxford, to his American tour, to his fame in London with his social life is an absolute pleasure. Understanding his notoriety and reputation of this period, and how he enjoyed it and played with the press, is wonderful.
If you would like to discover or rediscover a truly great man, then I urge you to read this book.
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 20 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
The scope, breadth, and insight of this book are extraordinary. This is 180 degrees from the masses of shallow, flashy celebrity biographies. This book is hardly a quick read -Ellmann explores every facet of his subject with amazing depth- and the result is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad book. --Suky
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Of all the books written on Oscar Wilde, this is the only work that matches the genius and generosity of the subject. This book works in many layers and is sometimes overwhelming in its breadth. You may find that it will spoil your appetite for other biographies you may read in the future - for it will take a lot to come close to the bar set by Professor Ellmann.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who loves biographies and has read dozens of them, I can say - hand on heart - that this is the best I've ever read.

Who knows how intimidating it must be to look up at a mountain the size of Wilde, knowing that whatever you write has to do the subject justice? Whatever the case, Ellmann reached the summit. This is an immensely moving, intimate, intricate read, full of enthralling facts and detail, and beautifully written.

If you've the remotest interest in Wilde, READ THIS BOOK. It will surely be forever regarded as the definitive over-view of Wilde's life.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Richard Ellman (1918-1987) is one of the great writers of biographical literature and this fantastic account of the life of Oscar Wilde, published in 1987 is a monumental achievement which has become a classic of the art form. Ellman's enthusiasm and scholarship injects real interest and empathy for his subject which truly connects with the reader and leaves them quite astounded. We are presented with the great man, warts and all...
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) studied at Trinity College, Dublin before attending Magdalen College, Oxford. He won the Newdigate Prize with his poem `Ravenna' in 1878 and became a disciple of the `Art for Art's sake aesthetic movement headed by Walter Pater (1839-1894). His first volume of `Poems' was published in 1881 and the following year he went on a lecture tour of the United States. Wilde's carefully crafted plays: `Lady Windermere's Fan' (1892), `A Woman of no Importance' (1893), `An Ideal Husband' (1895) and his masterful `The Importance of being Ernest' (1895) highlight the social hypocrisy of his time in the form of comedy and witty epigrams. His only novel `The Picture of Dorian Gray' (1890) is a modern take on the Faust legend. It seemed he could do no wrong and he was applauded and lionised wherever he went. But his star would fall back to earth with tragic consequences. Wilde fell in love with the son of the ruffian and scoundrel the Marquess of Queensberry, a handsome young man named Lord Alfred Douglas (`Bosie' as he became affectionately known by Wilde). In my view, `Bosie' is a despicable thug and the second most hated man in literature, the first being of course that damned brute from Porlock who interrupted Coleridge's composition of Kubla Khan!
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A thoroughly enjoyable biography about this great and extraordinary personality. Packed full of interesting facts as well as photographs this is a full resume of a life that still has resonance for the present day. Not only is this an informative reference book but the easy style makes it a thoroughly good and satisfying read. Certainly a book to re-read in the knowledge that there will still probably be new things to discover, so rich is the content.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have read Ellmann bio of Wilde before,i lost my copy and decided to buy another, again years later it did not disappoint.
Rich in informaton an very eloquently done. ,
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book with great anticipation solely because of the other reviews, which praised it highly. Unfortunately, I found it far too intellectual for me. It was like reading an academic journal. It lacked atmosphere. It was far too complex. I tried hard, but I'm afraid I had to give up in the end. Definetely more for the academic/intellect who is perhaps studying the life and works of Oscar Wilde, but not if you simply want a good interesting read. It has far too much pointless detail. I think the author is simply showing off his extensive knowledge of Oscar Wilde. At the moment I am reading Nureyev (The Life) by Julie Kavanagh and it is superb. I might go back to Oscar Wilde one day, but for now, definitely not. Unless of course someone can recommend a more readable version.
3 Comments 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback