This is the first major Wilde biography in over thirty years to really challenge Richard Ellmann’s 1987 masterpiece.
Matthew Sturgis has carried out detailed research focusing on new and previously unused materials to bring something new to the vast body of work on Wilde. During his research he discovered some 60 new letters and was able to delve deep into the archives rather than just repeating the well-established stories and themes. This gives the work a fresh feel. The book is set out in chapters relating to each stage of Wilde’s short but incredibly eventual life making it an easy read for such a large book. The book can be read either as a vastly entertaining biography or cross referenced to the extensive endnotes as a more scholarly work. One is never overwhelmed by a level of detail in the text which is sometimes unnecessary for the general reader but it is there in the endnotes should you want it.
Matthew has written a masterpiece of biography and I suspect it will become ‘the Life of Wilde’ for many years to come.
John D Stratford Co-Executor of the Literary Estate of Lord Alfred Douglas