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Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  189 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Written by his close friend Harris, this biography of Wilde takes us to the deep recesses of his mind and soul. Though Harris is said to have given in to his imagination in recounting some events, in general the book shows his respect and regard for his comrade. He criticizes the harsh treatment meted out to this once-beloved wit stemming from general censure for his perso ...more
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Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1916)
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Lindsey
Let me first qualify this review by saying that I am a huge Oscar Wilde fan (I not only own a copy, but have read cover to cover, his compiled works, my favorite novel is A Picture of Dorian Grey, and I own an Oscar Wile action figure...) Really it was only a matter of time before I began reading his biographies (the one I have on the shelf next is Richard Ellmann's Oscar Wilde...

I really found myself enjoying Frank Harris's biography of him. I think that Oscar himself would have been rather pl
...more
Elaine
I recently became obsessed with Oscar Wilde after reading "A picture of Dorian Gray" and was seized by a need to know everything about him. I read both volumes of Harris' Life and Confessions" over a weekend and chose his book as I could down load it free to my iphone:)I'm not sure how it rates compared to otherbiographies but will find out as I read more.

This was an imensly subjective account of Oscar Wile as Frank Harris was his friend. It was very difficult to tell if the facts were facts or
...more
Morticia
Beautifully written, it is quite a pageturner. But it known for being inaccurate and selfserving, it is almost as much about Harris as it is about Wilde. Harris reproduces lies and rumors about Wilde and it's hard to even trust the conversations he claims to have had with Wilde. But it gives an insight in Wilde as he would have appeared to another Englishman at the time.
His portrait of Wilde is full of contradictions, but at the same time it is a very intimate portrait. And though it doesn't po
...more
Sharon
This should have been two and a half stars. Although it is a vivid account the introduction and the blurb warn you not to take its anecdotes, incidents, reported conversations etc. seriously as Frank Harris (one of Wilde's staunch friends and a well known figure in 1890s London)did not present grounded facts but instead organized or altered incidents to suit dramatic requirements and fit whatever view he wanted to put forth.

Also,(no doubt because he didn't rely on research and scholarship to ga
...more
Othniel
An early biography of Wilde, and one written by a close friend, albeit one who (while no angel himself) disapproved of his lifestyle, this is a compelling read.

Focussing on the manner in which Wilde built his reputation, and the circumstances under which he helped self-destruct, this is a heartfelt and merciless portrait, pointing out the great man's flaws as well as those qualities which made him excellent company.

The court case involving Lord Alfred Douglas and his unpleasant father is examine
...more
inverted_a
"But I met you either too late or too soon. I don't know which."

Τελικά Όσκαρ κι εσύ τις ίδιες μπούρδες με μας έγραφες κατά καιρούς. Κι αν αυτό θα έπρεπε να είναι κάπως παρήγορο, δεν είναι.
Jack Bootjesus
The highs and very lows of the man who's life became the template for 20th century celebrity.
Alexandra
A very interesting, first eye witnessed biography of Oscar Wilde. And, though the book was published in 1930, the author does not shrink from reporting Wilde's own thoughts on homosexuality.
Donald
Oct 15, 2007 Donald rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans Of Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde was the epitome of the artist whose greatest work was his life. Wilde could never quite capture on paper the wit and wisdom that charmed so many of the pretty people in Victorian England. This engrossing biography, written by legendary playboy Frank Harris, is a first-hand account, as Wilde and Harris were close friends. Harris tries to understand Wilde's homosexuality, and paints a sympathetic picture of a man he clearly idolized.
Renee
I couldn't I finish the book. I don't know if it is the author's writing, his own naïveté, or oscars's none too impressive character, but I just had to stop reading. I find Wilde very weak willed and not extremely talented. I want to like him for his supposed genius and for his being an early hero of gay rights, but I just cant. Beyond "a Portait of Dorian Grey" I've found his writing hard to like.
Ully
As I understand, this biography is not a source to be trusted. However, I enjoyed it a lot. My favorite part was in the note by Harris on a previous version of the biography which stated that he believed Harris had "affectionately underrated his [Wilde's] snobbery." Overall, it was good and filled with the fin de siecle drama that only one who lived during it could truly capture.
Shane Brogan
I was surprised by how accessible this biography was. Harris' informal tone makes it seem like you're carrying on a conversation and his frankness tells you as much about that author as it does Wilde. I learned a good deal about Oscar Wilde that I hadn't before, but the author's close relationship does make me question how factually accurate he is at times. Overall a very good read.
Keith Foster
kind of different because the author was Oscar's straight peg friend and can give a first hand account of some stuff. I really painfully felt the fact that it wasn't the Ellmann biography though (please someone do an audio book).
Keith
I have always loved the work that Oscar Wilde wrote. Although this was the first volume of the life of Oscar Wilde, it was remarkably written. I so look forward to reading the second volume!!!
Natalie Sue
I'm reading this for a class so been putting alot of extra effort into understanding but I with it was more blunt sometimes:/ that way I always knew what he was trying to say.
Daniela Albarrán
Un acercamiento a la vida de Oscar Wilde según uno de sus amigos más allegados, vale la pena leerlo si ya conoces la obra de Wilde.
Emelie
The writing style is a bit thick, but he does know Oscar Wilde very well. Nothing beats a first-person account.
Gisele
Great bio. Trite by true. Wilde was way before his time. All the rest are just imitators.
Annie Chan
What if Oscar Wilde had never met Douglas?
Tim
A well-told tale of a tragic life.
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Frank Harris (February 14, 1856 – August 27, 1931) was an editor, journalist and publisher, who was friendly with many well-known figures of his day. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to America early in life, working in a variety of unskilled jobs before attending the University of Kansas to read law. He eventually became a citizen there. After graduation he quickly tired of his legal career and retu ...more
More about Frank Harris...
My Life and Loves The Bomb The Man Shakespeare And His Tragic Life Story Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions, Volume 1 (Book 1) Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata

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“[Referring to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde] ... Will civilization never reach humane ideals? Will men always punish most severely the sins they do not understand and which hold forth for them no temptation? Did Jesus suffer in vain?” 12 likes
“Such actions are beyond praise: it is the perfume of such sweet and noble human sympathy that makes this wild beasts' cage a world habitable for men.” 6 likes
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