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Oscar Wilde is a name familiar to most of us. It immediately calls to mind his clever, satirical drawing room comedies, holding a mirror up to the pretentions and hypocrisies of late Victorian society. Most of us are also aware of his homosexuality, in an age when this kind of love was seen in the eyes of the law as almost equivalent to the taking of another human life.
I knew absolutely nothing about where Oscar came from, or the family that shaped him. This book tells the story of Oscar and the family he was born into. His clever father, a doctor, antiquarian, and amateur archaeologist; his intellectual, free-thinking, devoted mother; and his sometimes-charming alcoholic brother.
This book tells the story of their lives and the ultimate self-destructive impulse that coloured the lives of Oscar and his brother. The true hero of the tale is Oscar's mother. An independent minded, inspirational woman of her time.
The author also provides intelligent interpretations and critiques of Oscar's work.