Of all 19th-century letter writers, Oscar Wilde is among the greatest. Revealing him at his sparkling, spontaneous, fluent best, these letters bear that most familiar of Wildean hallmarks the lightest of touches for the most serious of subjects. He comments openly on his life and his work, from the early years of undergraduate friendship, through his year-long lecture tour in America as a striving young "Professor of Aesthetics," to the short period of fame and success in the early 1890s when he corresponded with many leading political, literary and artistic figures of the time, including William Gladstone, George Curzon, W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Frank Harris, Aubrey Beardsle and Max Beerbohm. Disgrace and imprisonment followed, but even in adversity his humor does not desert him. In this volume, Merlin Holland has brought together his most revealing letters with a helpful commentary and some previously unpublished photographs. Together they form the closest thing we have to Wilde's own memoir.
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