A Picture of Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde A Life in LettersOscar Wilde:  A Life in Letters
Edited by Merlin Holland
Carroll & Graf.  384 pages, $27.95

 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS after the death of Oscar Wilde in 1900, all of his known surviving letters—1,562 of them—were published, edited by his grandson, Merlin Holland (with the late Rupert Hart-Davis). Now Holland has edited a selection of those letters, shorn of scholarly impedimenta, to reach a broader public. In his words: “All of these editions … relied heavily on the scholarly apparatus of copious footnotes to put the letters in context and I feel that the time has now come to make my grandfather’s correspondence accessible to a broader public with only a minimum of editorial intervention. To this end, I have made a very personal selection of the letters, some 400 in total, which seem to me to reflect the man, warts and all.”

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