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

Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  21 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
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published January 1st 1912)
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 Oscar Wilde, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oscar Wilde

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quirky-favorites
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
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fairly thinly sketched biography wrapped around a memoir of the author's friendship with Wilde, concentrating especially on his trials, imprisonment and decline. Its great strength is the way it brings Wilde to life in remembered conversations, capturing the flavour of his conversation, which Harris and apparently Wilde considered to be Wilde's greatest art. It is also very frank, for the time of publication, about Wilde's private life, though Harris's open-mindedness is offset by some ...more
Joan Sebastián Araujo Arenas
Conseguí esta obra y la biografía de Villena sobre el mismo hombre (Wilde) en la misma librería, una al lado de la otra.

El libro de Harris, aún hoy me sorprende, era mucho más barato que el de Villena, supongo que porque era una edición más vieja. Por eso leí la biografía que escribió el autor español antes de acercarme a la que hizo un amigo cercano del propio biografiado, y que fue una de las primeras aproximaciones a su vida.

Las páginas que dedicó Harris a Wilde van desde describir breveme
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Dec 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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).
Dane Cobain
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little handbook is a quick introduction to some of Oscar Wilde’s poetic work. It’s not as good as his fiction or his plays, and it doesn’t contain as many soundbites, but it’s still worth reading if you like either poetry or Oscar Wilde. Plus it fits in your pocket!

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.
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great bio. Trite by true. Wilde was way before his time. All the rest are just imitators.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay
Some books just don't age that well : it is one of them...

Certains livres ne vieillissent pas bien : en voici un bon exemple.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jack Bootjesus
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The highs and very lows of the man who's life became the template for 20th century celebrity.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
"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.
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.
A well-told tale of a tragic life.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2014
Stuart Estell
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2016
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2013
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2012
Negarietta Rezaei
rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2013
rated it it was ok
May 09, 2011
rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
  • Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas
  • Famous Tales of Mystery and Horror
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Walt Whitman: A Life
  • Teleny or the Reverse of the Medal
  • Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story Of Dolly Wilde, Oscar's Unusual Niece
  • Mary Shelley
  • Muriel Spark: The Biography
  • The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
  • Vampires, Wine, and Roses
  • The Ring
  • Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
  • The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered
  • Le Vicomte de Bragelonne II
  • The Other Eminent Men of Wilford Woodruff
Frank Harris 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 returned to Europe in 1882.

He travelled o
More about Frank Harris...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“[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?” 14 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
More quotes…