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The Marquess of Queensberry: Wilde's Nemesis
The Marquess of Queensberry is as famous for his role in the downfall of one of our greatest literary geniuses as he was for helping establish the rules for modern-day boxing. The trial and two-year imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, lover of Queensberry’s son, Lord Alfred Douglas, remains one of literary history’s great tragedies. However, Linda Stratmann's riveting biography o ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Yale University Press
(first published January 1st 2013)
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I am a person who does not like to see things in black and white (unlike the Marquess of Queensberry and the son who so resembled him, Lord Alfred Douglas) so I found Stratmann's sympathetic portrait of the Marquess to be much needed. It is entirely understandable that he would be disturbed by the rumors surrounding his son and Wilde and that he would try to intervene. It is equally understandable that his bold son would resent his interference. There are so few clear bad guys in the Wilde drama ...more
A lot of bad things happened to the Marquess of Queensberry. Stratmann explores these vicissitudes in such detail that the reader can make better sense of Queensberry's doggedness in trying to separate his wayward, headstrong son "Bosie" from Oscar Wilde. I've not felt this much sympathy for an unlikely character since reading "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx. That this sympathy is generated by a biography is testament to Stratmann's research and narrative style.