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Outside Swan and Edgar’s

Matthew Sweet: The life of Oscar Wilde

5 February 1998
The Wilde Album 
by Merlin Holland.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85702 782 5
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Cosmopolitan Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy of Art 
by Julia Prewitt Brown.
Virginia, 157 pp., $30, September 1997, 9780813917283
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde 
edited by Peter Raby.
Cambridge, 307 pp., £37.50, October 1997, 9780521474719
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Wilde The Novel 
by Stefan Rudnicki.
Orion, 215 pp., £5.99, October 1997, 0 7528 1160 6
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Oscar Wilde 
by Frank Harris.
Robinson, 358 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 1 85487 126 9
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Moab is my Washpot 
by Stephen Fry.
Hutchinson, 343 pp., £16.99, October 1997, 0 09 180161 3
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Nothing … except My Genius 
by Oscar Wilde.
Penguin, 82 pp., £2.99, October 1997, 0 14 043693 6
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... Oscar wilde is one of literature’s most bankable brand-names. As the illustrations in MerlinHolland’s The Wilde Album demonstrate, this was as true in his fin de siècle as in ours. During Wilde’s lifetime, his celebrity was used to sell Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, Madame Fontaine’s ...

Love in a Dark Time

Colm Tóibín: Oscar Wilde

19 April 2001
The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde 
edited by Merlin Holland and Rupert Hart-Davis.
Fourth Estate, 1270 pp., £35, November 2000, 1 85702 781 7
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... Wilde was declared a bankrupt and his possessions were sold, including the rights to his plays. His mother had been buried in a pauper’s grave. Constance had left England and changed her name to Holland. In the vast correspondence between all the main players in Wilde’s life, a short letter from Constance, written to a fortune-teller in April 1895, is perhaps the most poignant: ‘My dear Mrs ...

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