Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde” as Want to Read:
The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Vilified by fellow Victorians for his sexuality and his dandyism, Oscar Wilde, the great poet, satirist and playwright, is hailed today, in some circles, as a "progressive" sexual liberator. But this is not how Wilde saw himself. His actions and pretensions did not bring him happiness and fulfillment. This study of Wilde's brilliant and tragic life goes beyond the mistakes ...more
Hardcover, 412 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Ignatius Press (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 215)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I read Pearce's biography of Chesterton and thought it was ok. He did not offer a lot of insight and, for as much as I love Chesterton, he seemed to be too much of an apologist for him.

I thought that Pearce escapes many of those faults in his excellent treatment of Wilde.

Briefly, the negatives here are somewhat similar to the Chesterton bio. He mentions critics of Wilde's work, but I can't recall when he agreed with them. Surely some of them might have been right about something. But he is also
I loved this book. I will read anything Joseph Pearce writes. He is an eloquent writer and and speaker. His research is extensive and I have a better time believing his ideas than, taking it for truth, than many other writers who decide they have written a "definitive" book on someone. I've seen Jospeh Pearce speak on a panel and been to a few discussion groups/classes he lead and he is not only brilliant and has a wide information base on several subjects, bit he is a humble, sweet, caring man. ...more
James Smith
I recently re-read this book--always a precarious test for a book. But Pearce's work stands up well. Something of a counterweight to Ellman's canonical biography, Pearce pays close attention to Wilde's life-long tortuous relationship to Christian faith, particularly Catholicism. Pearce is particularly good at drawing lines from the French "decadents" (Baudelaire, Huysmans, et. al.) to Wilde and British decadence. Of note is the fact that so many of these "decadents" became Catholic.
Oscar Wilde was a profane and obscene character, which fact has prompted me to defend my interest in his life and works more than once. The fascination is that late in life (he had a short one), about two or three years before he died, his writing changed drastically from what most people know (think The Importance of Being Earnest or An Ideal Husband for some of his tamer works) to what seem to be the thoughtful and heartfelt writings of a broken man. His last two works, the Ballad of Reading G ...more
As most biographies do, this book starts of very slow. I almost gave up on it for a time but always went back to plug away. However, this book builds and builds. I would give the first quarter of the book two stars, it reads almost like a bland text book doing not much more than throwing facts at you. Middle half would get three stars, a very solid building of the man and experience of Oscar. then Last quarter of the book is where the payoff truly rests. It is here where it becomes a page turner ...more
Jess Leach
Satisfying, penetrating and thorough exploration of the real Wilde.
Christian biography of Wilde. A tale of self destruction.
Read any and all Pearce's books- they are all worthwhile
Mike O'connor
A literary biography to be sure, best read after first reading Ellman's definitive bio (though Pearce does cast some doubt on the syphilis diagnosis and finally clears up that the picture of Wilde "cross-dressed" as Salome is NOT in fact Wilde). Still, interesting stuff on Oscar's lifelong flirtation with the Catholic Church culminating in his deathbed conversion, the one weak spot for me was not enough time spent on the indecency trial(s), particularly in parsing Wilde's testimony for further i ...more
Renske marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
James Conkley
James Conkley marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2015
Acacia marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
Tessa marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Maryana marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Emma Dargue
Emma Dargue marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
Emily marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Kate marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Lynne marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
❄Elsa Frost❄
❄Elsa Frost❄ marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Emily marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Tolivar Wills
Tolivar Wills marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
dbob marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Duncan added it
May 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece
  • Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius
  • Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde
  • Elizabeth: Virgin Queen?
  • Morning, Noon, and Night: Growing Up and Growing Old with Literature
  • Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism
  • The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
  • The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
  • Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People
  • What Ever Happened to Modernism?
  • Metaphysical Horror
  • Sade: A Biography
  • Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist
  • Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend
  • Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life) (Dover Giant Thrift Editions)
  • Brothers & Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales
  • Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin
Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, and as of 2004 Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of Catholic figures. Formerly aligned with the National Front, a white nationalist po ...more
More about Joseph Pearce...
Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief The Quest for Shakespeare

Share This Book