Oscar Wilde's Scandalous Summer: The 1894 Worthing Holiday and the Aftermath
In the summer of 1894 Oscar Wilde spent eight weeks in Worthing, during which he wrote his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. This family holiday was a microcosm of Wilde’s complicated life during the three years between his falling in love with Lord Alfred Douglas and his imprisonment in 1895. While Constance Wilde, lonely and depressed, fell in love with her husband’s publisher, Wilde was spending his time with the feckless and demanding Douglas, and with three teenage boys he took sailing, swimming and fishing. One of these boys was Alphonse Conway, with whom Wilde had a sexual relationship – and about whom he was to be questioned at length in court six months later, after he sued Douglas’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, for libel. This book tells for the first time the full story of the Worthing summer, set in the context of the three years of Wilde’s life before his downfall. The author devotes a chapter to the composition of – and influences on – Earnest, and also reassesses the trials, offering fresh insights into Wilde’s attitude to the youths with whom he was sexually involved. There are fifty-nine illustrations, including over thirty photographs of Worthing in Wilde’s time and three contemporary maps.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Noone to talkto Constance
My play is really very funny The Importance of Being Earnest
Absurd and silly perjuries The Dramatist in the Dock
Picture Section Notes
Other editions - View all
Oscar Wilde and the Scandalous Summer of Earnest: The 1894 Worthing Holiday ...
No preview available - 2014
11 August Albion Alphonse Conway Alphonse’s andthe arrived in Worthing atthe boat Bosie Bosie’s Bracknell Brighton Road CARSON certainly Complete Letters concert letter Constance Wilde Constance’s Conway’s Cyril Delahay Earnest Edward Carson Ellmann Esplanade evidence father Fraser Georgina Mount Temple hadbeen havebeen Haven hehad hewas homosexual Hyde inthe inWorthing Irish Peacock itis itwas Lady Mount Temple Lifeboat Littlehampton London Lord Alfred Douglas Marine Hotel McKenna Merlin Holland Montgomery Hyde mother ofOscar ofthe onthe Oscar Wilde Oscariana Peacock & Scarlett perhaps photograph pier play probably Profundis Queensberry libel trial referred relationship Richard Ellmann Sarah Conway scandal Scarlet Scarlett Marquess seafront September 1894 sexual stayed storm letter suggests summer Sussex Terrace thathe Tite Street tobe tothe town Venetian Fete Vyvyan Vyvyan Holland Wagstaff wasa wasnot Wilde wrote Wilde’s Wildean Wilfrid Scawen Blunt witha withthe Worthing Gazette Worthing holiday Worthing pier Worthing’s wouldhave writing