Review | How Oscar Wilde evolved from poet and playwright to symbol of martyrdom and individualism

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As Sturgis reminds us, Oscar was once at all times a golden boy. His oldsters, Sir William Wilde, a prominent eye surgeon, and his mom, a famous lady of letters nicknamed Speranza, hosted Dublin’s main inventive salon. At Oxford, the place Wilde misplaced his Irish brogue and earned a double-first stage, he had first hearkened to the gospel of John Ruskin, prophet of artwork’s social and ethical drive, however later transferred his allegiance to Walter Pater, who extolled private depth, self-realization and elegance. Determined to be well-known, Wilde then settled in London, the place the increasingly more flamboyant dandy paid court docket to society hostesses, primary “influencers” and global beauties like actress Sarah Bernhardt. Nonetheless, as Sturgis reminds us, when he wed Constance Lloyd, it was once a real love fit — no less than till Wilde started to apply what he’d hitherto basically examine.

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