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Oscar and Constance

Tom Paulin, 17 November 1983

The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 241 10964 7
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The Importance of Being Constance: A Biography of Oscar Wilde’s Wife 
by Joyce Bentley.
Hale, 160 pp., £8.75, May 1983, 0 7090 0538 5
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Mrs Oscar Wilde: A Woman of Some Importance 
by Anne Clark Amor.
Sidgwick, 249 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 9780283989674
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... on Botticelli to the society of Leadville? What was his own relation to Late Victorian society? Joyce’s answer to the last question was that Wilde made the mistake of becoming ‘court jester to the English’. Although Joyce praised Wilde for his distinctive qualities of ‘keenness, generosity and a sexless ...

Chapmaniac

Colin Burrow: Chapman’s Homer, 27 June 2002

Chapman’s Homer: The ‘Iliad’ 
edited by Allardyce Nicoll.
Princeton, 613 pp., £13.95, December 1998, 0 691 00236 3
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Chapman’s Homer: The ‘Odyssey’ 
edited by Allardyce Nicoll.
Princeton, 613 pp., £13.95, January 2001, 0 691 04891 6
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... sarcasm that was perfected a century later by the great Cambridge classical scholar Richard Bentley. But it suggests that Chapman was less motivated by a desire to understand Homeric society in itself than to insist to his vernacular readers that he alone was the truest and best interpreter of Homer. Chapman got it wrong here, as he often ...

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