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Wilde's Women

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Wilde's Women

Eleanor Fitzsimons

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1266-9
Trim Size: 6 x 9


Product Description

A fresh, revealing, and entertaining account of the most notorious figure of his age and the women who inspired him.

Oscar Wilde famously insisted that "there should be no law for anybody," and his devotion to personal liberty made him a staunch defender of gender equality. Women were central to his life and career.

Wilde's Women is the first book to tell the story of the female family members, friends, and colleagues who traded witticisms with Wilde, who gave him access to vital publicity, and to whose ideas he gave expression through his social comedies.

In this essential new work, Eleanor Fitzsimons reframes Wilde's story and his legacy through the women in his life, including such scintillating figures as Florence Balcombe; actress Lillie Langtry; and his tragic and witty niece, Dolly, who, like Wilde, loved fast cars, cocaine, and foreign women. Fresh revealing, and entertaining, full of fascinating detail and anecdotes, Wilde's Women relates the untold story of how a beloved writer and libertine played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women, and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society in the process of changing forever.

Praise for Wilde's Women:

“In Wilde’s Women, Eleanor Fitzsimons reminds us of the many writers, actresses, political activists, professional beauties and aristocratic ladies who helped shape the life and legend of the era’s greatest wit, esthete and sexual martyr . . . provide[s] a potted biography of the multitalented writer and gay icon . . . highly enjoyable.” (The Washington Post)

“Oscar Wilde's life (1854–1900) has often been examined through his relationships with men, but less has been said about the place of women in his life. Researcher and journalist Fitzsimons has corrected that, showing that Wilde cultivated friendships and collaborated with intelligent, often unconventional, women...A well-written, deeply researched, and detailed biographical portrait of the many women in Wilde's life, from his mother and wife to actresses and socialites.” (Library Journal)

“A brisk, sympathetic look at an understudied aspect of Wilde's eventful life.” (Kirkus)

“Full of fascinating detail and anecdotes WILDE'S WOMEN relates the untold story of how the writer played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society in the process of changing forever.” (Irish American News)

“Fitzsimons brilliantly calls attention to the progressive ideas and beliefs which drew the most daring and interesting women of the time to his side. The depth and painstaking care of Fitzsimons’ research is a fitting tribute to Wilde’s fascinating life and exquisite writing – and really, what better compliment is there than that?” (High Voltage Magazine)

Eleanor Fitzsimons is a researcher, writer, journalist and occasional broadcaster specializing in historical and current feminist issues. She has an MA in Women, Gender and Society from University College Dublin. Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and journals including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, History Today and The Irish Times, and she is a regular radio and television contributor.

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Winter 2019
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PG Wodehouse