Oscar's Books: A Journey Through the Library of Oscar Wilde
An entirely new kind of biography, "Oscar's Books" explores the personality of Oscar Wilde through his reading. For Wilde, as for many people, reading could be as powerful and transformative an experience as falling in love. He referred to the volumes that radically altered his vision of the world as his 'golden books'; he gave books as gifts - often as part of his seduction campaigns of young men; and sometimes he literally ate books, tearing off corners of paper and chewing them as he read. Wilde's beloved book collection was sold at the time of his trials to pay creditors and legal costs. Thomas Wright, in the course of his intensive researches, has hunted down many of the missing volumes which contain revealing markings and personal annotations, never previously examined.
A fresh and delightful examination of the character of Oscar Wilde by looking at him through the prism of the books he read.
Wright's account of Wilde's life is fun and thorough...behind Wright's light touch lies a thoughtful, illuminating book Gay Times Wholly original book about reading, its comforts and its perils, an eccentric landmark in the art of literary biography Mail on Sunday A remarkable new biography...the result is an original and compelling book Literary Review No other scholar of Wilde has succeeded so well in moving into Oscar's head Irish Times The premise of the book is gorgeous...the book is both thorough and intriguing Guardian Intriguing...he has written an indispensible guide Daily Telegraph A charmingly eccentric attempt to tell Wilde's story through his reading Independent on Sunday This arresting book on Oscar Wilde has much to commend it Independent Entertaining and highly original, Oscar's Books is animated by a real intellectual passion. It should be read by anyone interested in Wilde or in the art of literary biography Peter Ackroyd
Of Anglo-Irish descent, Thomas Wright was educated at Saint Thomas More School, Bedford. Overwhelmed by The Picture of Dorian Gray in his teens, he applied for Magdalen, Oscar Wilde's college at Oxford, and was accepted; during his time there he occupied a room containing the fireplace that once stood in the library of Wilde's Chelsea home. He has frequently lectured on Wilde and written countless articles about him. He is the author of Oscar Wilde's Table Talk. Thomas Wright lives in Genoa and London, and sometimes writes about subjects unconnected with his hero.