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The Green Carnation

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The Green Carnation, first published anonymously in 1894, was a scandalous novel by Robert Hichens whose lead characters are closely based on Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas - also known as 'Bosie', whom the author personally knew. It was an instant 'succès de scandale' on both sides of the Atlantic.

The book features the characters of 'Esmé Amarinth' (Wilde), and 'Lord
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Published October 26th 2010 by Halcyon Press Ltd. (first published 1894)
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This book is one long "Hipsters suck!" rant. Hipsters in 1895 England being dandy aesthetes like Oscar Wilde and Bosie. It's like, "Look at these rich kids, pretending to be *authentic* and being *creative* the privileged bastards. I am seething with... with... envy! No wait, I shouldn't be. At least I am not a gaymo like tbose fags." It was really funny to read. Not funny like it was clever (because it wasn't) but funny like a car crash.
Well! Clearly we've come pretty far in 100 years. Hard to believe this disjointed and oblique parody of Oscar Wilde's style and lifestyle played any part in Wilde's getting sentenced to 2 years' hard labor and effectively being expelled from his homeland for the rest of his life. The only harm I could imagine this book causing anybody nowadays is it causing them to fall dead asleep. The wink-wink cloaked references to homosexuality are SO cloaked as to be nonlegible -- I mean, Middlemarch reads ...more
A very beautifully written book, but at times I felt it had no plot line. Well, thats what I get for reading books from the 1800s.
Let me just start off by refuting the official summary, which states that "Gay men in turn-of-the-century Paris wore green carnations in their buttonholes." Wilde wore a green carnation and encouraged his devotees to wear them on at least one occasion, but it was never a widespread practice and its connotations with homosexuality were established long afterwards. It is tempting to regard Wilde as a prototype gay activist, proudly queer, suffering prison rather than deny his true nature, but like ...more
Lara Biyuts
*Life imitates art--so do I*
The green carnation, Oscar Wilde’s attribute, as we know, though his favorite colour was vermillion, this artificial flower appears in books here and there. Many writers have a dig at it as well as its owners--“It is said, a wild flower smells warmer if it’s smashed”--and the green carnation has become the first symbol of people, who declare their homosexuality, a precursor to the rainbow flag.
Despite the widespread opinion, the green carnation became a gay emblem a
Adam Dunn
I’m not sure why there are so many negative reviews of this book. I could quite easily imagine someone really enjoying it.

I had read on Wikipedia that this book was pulled from the shelves in 1894 after Wilde was imprisoned for the gay content in the book, which is not true. In the 1948 reprint of the book, the author states he pulled the book from the shelves voluntarily after Wilde’s imprisonment as he thought it would be in poor taste to satirize a man facing hard time in jail. The author men
Catherine Siemann
Reading The Green Carnation is like reading Real Person Fanfic about Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. Not Real Person Slash, as the novel is too insistently discreet in its codings of homosexuality to explore their relationship to any great extent beyond mentor/mentee, although there are many references to Lord Reggie's inability to really love women. Hichens knew Wilde and Douglas socially, and at first his satire seems fond, but a harsher critique is made through the vehicle of Lady Locke, ...more
No, The Green Carnation, in and of itself, is not a good piece of literature. No one should read it expecting to be dazzled by wit or captivated by the characters. If you would like to read an example of good literature regarding the Decadents/Aesthetics of the 1890s, look elsewhere. The only people who will glean any real value or enjoyment from this novel are those already intimately familiar with Wilde, Bosie and company; The Green Carnation provides an interesting glimpse into the mindset of ...more
Una novela satírica cuyos personajes principales están basados en Oscar Wilde y Lord Alfred Douglas. Constituyó un escándalo en el Londres victoriano y contribuyó a la caída de Wilde, aunque se retirara su venta durante los juicios del célebre dramaturgo.
La novela en sí es entretenida, pero su interés radica en leer entre líneas. Si se quiere disfrutar realmente, basta con conocer un poco de la relación Wilde/Bosie y su repercusión en la época. Esto la hace mucho más divertida.
i read a lot about it's so earger to know why this novel firstly pulichised anonymously?!! can this novel be "roman a clef''? it's utterly refering to Oscar Wilde by ''Esme''

the green carnation offended Lady Locke's sight...poor her if she would would live by 2009 and what grotesque she may feel by current new fads?!

the conclusion was logically anticipated that Lord Raggie was consciouly absurd for ''her'' after all!!!
As another reviewer has pointed out, this is not a well-written book in any sense. But if, like me, you read Ellman's life of Oscar Wilde and realised that the whole Aesthetic thing was tedious and tasteless, then this is the book to reinforce your judgement. I'm with the 'heroine' - at least, the major female character - who decides she doesn't want her eight year old son wearing a green carnation. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Michael Flick

Tedious feeble satire. The tone and text are true to Wilde, only missing his wit and charm.
The worst kind of petty dull and unimaginative rich-kid-authored asinine limp and wasteful trash.
May 31, 2007 Wally rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oscar Wilde lovers
Hilarious send-up of Wilde's pre-trial public persona.
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Hichens was born in Speldhurst in Kent, the eldest son of a clergyman. He was educated at Clifton College, the Royal College of Music and early on had a desire to be a musician. Later in life he would be a music critic on the World, taking the place of George Bernard Shaw. He also studied at the London School of Journalism. Hichens was a great traveler, Egypt was one of his favorite destinations, ...more
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