|Publisher:||Yale Univ Pr|
|Publish Date:||Jun 2013|
|Number of Pages:||316|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.7|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.55 x 1.39 x 9.44|
|List of Illustrations||p. viii|
|Authors Note||p. x|
|Queensberry Family Trees||p. xv|
|Introduction: The Card||p. xvii|
|Son and Heir||p. 1|
|The Queensberry Inheritance||p. 16|
|The Young Gentleman||p. 27|
|Night on a Mountain||p. 42|
|'He Thought He Loved'||p. 52|
|The Game and Sporting Lord||p. 67|
|Original Notions||p. 81|
|Judged by his Peers||p. 95|
|An Undercurrent of Eccentricity||p. 107|
|Full of Woes||p. 121|
|Four Sons and a Daughter||p. 137|
|The Antipathy of Similars||p. 149|
|A Serious Slight||p. 161|
|Wounded Feelings||p. 174|
|A Family Divided||p. 203|
|The Peer and the Poet||p. 214|
|In the Dock||p. 227|
|The Price of Victory||p. 239|
|'Where Stars shall ever shed their light'||p. 255|
History remembers the ninth Marquess of Queensberry as a mad crank and Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) as a martyr. Popular historian and mystery author Stratmann ("Frances Doughty Mysteries") sets out to restore the reputation of the Scottish peer and sportsman, known as "Q", who played a role in creating the rules that tamed boxing. Embittered by a miserable marriage, John Sholto Douglas (1844-1900) became a public crusader against Christianity and marriage.
When Wilde took up with Douglas's son Alfred ("Bosie"), two men who believed the conventions of society did not apply to them confronted each other. Wilde, at the height of his career as a playwright, the toast of the West End, recklessly sued the father for describing him as "posing as a so m domite [sic]". The proceedings led to Wilde's sentence to hard labor for "gross indecency". Neither man recovered from the scandal.
Verdict: This prolonged look at the unappealing and combative Douglas does nothing to overturn the traditional view. The book would have benefited from a "life and times" approach, particularly in the area of homosexuality, since few people then really understood what a "somdomite" did. (Q himself had learned much having come of age in the navy.) This book is only for committed Wildeans.
-Stewart Desmond, New York
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Throughout his life, Queensberry was emotionally damaged by a series of tragedies, and the events of the Wilde affair--told for the first time from the Marquess's perspective--were directly linked to Queensberry's personal crises. Through the retelling of pivotal events from Queensberry's life--the death of his brother on the Matterhorn and his fruitless search for the body; the suicides of his father, brother, and eldest son--the book reveals a well-meaning man often stricken with a grief he found hard to express, who deserves our compassion.
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