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Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
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Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  28 reviews
One of the most famous love affairs in literary history is that of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Bosie Douglas. As a direct consequence of this relationship, Wilde underwent three trials in quick succession in 1895, marking the beginning of the end for his celebrated career. In the first, he sued the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel for leaving his card at Wilde's ...more
Hardcover
Published March 28th 2005 by Fourth Estate (GB) (first published November 1st 2003)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Evan
There actually were three trials of Oscar Wilde, of which this book reconstructs only the first, although the introductory and supplemental text fails to make this very clear. Buried deep in the text near the end of the book is the fact that the records of the subsequent two trials have been mysteriously lost.

What does become clear in reading this detailed blow-by-blow of Wilde's April 1895 libel action against the Marquess of Queensberry is that the "trials of Oscar Wilde" cannot be made into s
...more
Christine
Unless you have been living undera rock (and if you are, can I join you?) there is whole primary election thing happening here in the U.S. In short, the media tells everyone who to vote for, and every so often a group of people vote for someone different. This person is usually strange and makes the media know it alls stupids plundits scratch thier heads. This is done so the chances of electing someone who know what he/she is doing is small.

At the very least, it does lead to debates that are as
...more
Laura Whichello
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult book to review.
Holland (WIlde's grandson) writes an excellent introduction giving a condensed account of the events surrounding the trial and the trial itself, but the greater part of the book is, of course, the transcript of the trial.
Wilde is witty, intelligent and even Artistic in the witness box, and in many ways the reading experience is like being in the gallery yourself. At times it can be tedious - the repetition of names and dates and particulars, but on the whole
...more
Fruit Reader
J'ai abandonné ce livre de non-fiction à cause des longueurs et des répétitions constantes des mêmes idées. Je pense ne pas du tout être réceptive au format du procès, malheureusement, même si j'adore l'écrivain Oscar Wilde.
Elsa Feiring
This was extremely interesting. I loved reading the actual transcipts of the trial. But, by nature of it being a transcript, I didn't get into the flow of the story of the events, other than Merlin's lengthy preface at the beginning. After slogging through a while, I realized that pretty much all I needed to know about Ocar's trial had already been accounted for me, and that there was little left for me to gain except for the occasional witty quip in the court room--nice, but generally unneeded. ...more
Sandi
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, horrifying, embarrassing, painful--Oscar Wilde's first trial shows what can happen when the audience doesn't get the joke.

This is a reconstruction of Wilde's first trial, where Wilde was the plaintiff, accusing the Marquess of Queensbury of libel for accusing Wilde of "posing somdomite." Even though Wilde was the plaintiff, it was clear from this transcript that Wilde was really the one on trial as he took on the burden of proof to show that he wasn't what the Marquess accused him
...more
Abigail
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a chance to read this book while I was on my anniversary trip at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. 

Reading about Oscar Wilde's trial was very interesting and frustrating at the same time. Interesting because Wilde had such an entertaining personality, and he says some really brilliant things about art throughout the trial.  But it was also frustrating because the case would never have stood up in court today. Half the trial was "Mr. Wilde writes about men who are gay therefore he's gay, therefore we
...more
Laura Dam
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Muy interesante libro acerca del juicio por indecencia de Oscar Wilde.
Contiene transcripciones de los juicios, algunas fotos de involucrados en el caso y también material que no había visto antes como fotos de cartas de puño y letra del escritor y personas relacionadas con el juicio.
Por otro lado, es un libro muy triste. No sólo por las implicaciones que tuvo el juicio para Wilde y su familia (el autor del libro es el nieto del escritor por lo cual lo cuenta como testigo privilegiado) sino tambi
...more
Matthew
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was fascinating to read Carson's interpretation of the modes of the Aesthetes' style and works as signifiers of a homosexual identity. One can read the transcript of this trial as anticipating/fashioning a modern homosexual identity. It was also fascinating to follow Wilde as his self-confidence and wit shatters under cross-examination. I share the opinion of many that Wilde foolishly led himself towards self-destruction through his case against Queensberry. What was his reason for doing so? ...more
Alexis Hall
Brought to you courtesy of Reading Project 2015.

I read this for the trial transcripts - which, for them as interested in this sort of thing, I should emphasise are just of the first.

Since I was in it solely for said transcripts, the extensive preamble got in my way, but it's useful context if you're not already achingly familiar with the material.
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Oscar Wilde's courtroom battle with the Marquess of Queensbury. Wilde naturally assumes that he can take on the man who invented the rules of boxing and win. Based on the book "Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess" by Merlin Holland (Oscar's grandson).
Emilia Barnes
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating read. It is a transcript of the actual trial (I believe the first of them) that would eventually lead to Oscar Wilde's prosecution and arrest - this takes up the bulk of the book, and for anyone who is a fan of Oscar Wilde this is a treasure, because you can read an actual conversation he had, and you can tell when he is being flippant and when he is getting angry. But there is also an introduction by his grandson, which includes bits about his private life, and the recollections o ...more
Jennifer
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
very interesting how this book came about. it's transcribed from the short hand of court clerks present at OW's 1st trai. i wish it was the 2nd one too! :) great read and hard to put down. very exciting but of course sad b/c we know how it all ends. probably the closest we'll ever get to hearing OW's actual way of speaking. really makes you feel like a fly on the wall. :) bzzzzz
Acacia
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dear-to-my-heart
This is an incredible book; it is a complete record of the actual transcripts from the libel trial that led subsequently to Wilde's conviction, edited and noted by his own grandson!!! Well worth a read if you're an Oscar Wilde fan, particularly to see his almost self-destructive fall from grace.
Kerry Price
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adele
An absolute must read for anyone interested in Victorian-era counterculture. The book reads like a play, but is in fact the closest thing to an accurate trial transcript out there. The detailed descriptions of everyday life that come through in the cross-examination are wonderful.
Grace
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilde's wit is truly captured in this transcript of his 1895 indecency trial
Terence Manleigh
For Wildeans, a must-have: the uncensored transcript of the Wilde-Queensberry libel trial. It's riveting stuff.
Alyssa
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
Not much can be said about this book apart from the fact it is wholly what it appears to be. The transcripts are fascinating and at many points vividly entertaining, but they are still transcripts.
Paul Bulger
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Courtroom transcripts are rarely this entertaining.

The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde is not what I expected it to be. I had anticipated this to be an actual book about Oscar Wilde's infamous libel lawsuit, not the literal courtroom transcripts, and while some of the transcripts are a bit dry, uninteresting, and repetitive, the thing that truly stands out and makes this a delightful read is Wilde's wit.

Oscar Wilde seemed a delightful personality, as he nimbly twists around the words of his examiners
...more
Carla
Claro está que es un hecho lamentable lo que ha sido aquel caso de la homosexualidad y que sea multada como si fuera un crimen.
Luego de lo que fue el juicio y la muerte de Wilde varios se beneficarón hasta se aprovecharon difamar al dramaturgo, como también lo hizo uno de sus amantes que te ganas de tú mismo abofetearlo, pero ya pasaron los años y nada puede hacer —¡Qué hecho tan lamentable!"—.

Bastante bien completo, solo que aburre un poco las cosas sobre juicio, pero el nieto de Wilde hizo un
...more
Harvey
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- from the jacket: "Merlin Holland has produced a gripping and fascinating volume that entirely supercedes previous accounts of that Queensberry Trial...it gives us, for the first time, a real sense of how Wilde spoke in conversation...Behind the arrogance there no doubt lay nerves, and a tangle of other feelings - the same feelings that had led him {Wilde} to embark on the libel action in the first place. And at some level he seems to have been seeking out his own doom: it is what raises his fa ...more
Susan
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Friends of the Library Sale find, which I read in a single sitting. (I'll go back later for the front- and backmatter.) Whoever could've imagined that legal proceedings from 120 years ago could be so captivating? Sure, it was tax week, and I might've been a teeny bit avoidant, but still....
Steven
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, british
The decline and detached bemusement of Oscar Wilde.
Scott Roberts
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
The book cover looks interesting.
Dorian Love
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read
D
Dec 07, 2008 marked it as to-read-non-fiction  ·  review of another edition
Merlin Holland is Oscar Wilde's grandson! Who knew?!
Robert Dunne
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2016
Jemma Dixon
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2017
Jan de Leeuw
Authentic stuff, including transcript
Emon
rated it it was ok
Feb 27, 2014
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