The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde

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9780002740425: The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde

Vilified by fellow Victorians for his sexuality and his dandyism, in the 1990s, Oscar Wilde is hailed as a progressive sexual liberator. But this is not how Wilde saw himself. His actions and pretences did not bring him happiness and fulfilment: his art did. This study of Wilde's brilliant and tragic life does not linger on the mistakes which brought him notoriety, rather, it explores his emotional and spiritual search. It uncovers how he was broken by his two-year prison sentence; it probes the deeper thinking behind masterpieces such as "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" and "De Profundis"; and it traces his fascination with Catholicism through to his eleventh-hour conversion.

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From the Publisher:

In his new book, Joseph Pearce asserts that the great poet, satirist, and playwright Oscar Wilde is as misunderstood today as he was in his own time. Vilified by his fellow Victorians for his sexuality and dandyism, these days he is hailed as a sexual liberator. Yet this is not how Wilde saw himself. His lifestyle and pretenses did not bring him happiness and fulfillment: his art did. And this is where Pearce's search for the man behind the masks is centered. Rather than lingering on the actions that brought him notoriety, Joseph Pearce explores the emotional and spiritual search of this fascinating and complex figure. The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde reveals how his "heart of stone" was broken by his two-year prison sentence, while it probes the deeper implications of his masterpieces. Along with a discussion of The Ballad of Reading Gaol and the posthumously published De Profundis, it also traces his fascination with Catholicism through to his eleventh-hour conversion.

About the Author:

Joseph Pearce is the author of numerous acclaimed biographies of major Catholic literary figures.

He is a Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria College in Michigan, Editor-in-Chief of Ave Maria University Communications and Sapientia Press, as well as Co-Editor of the The Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England by the Saint Austin Press.

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