The Marquess of Queensberry: Wilde's Nemesis

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The Marquess of Queensberry: Wilde's Nemesis

Format:  Hardcover,

316 pages

Publisher: Yale Univ Pr

Publish Date: Jun 2013

ISBN-13: 9780300173802

ISBN-10: 0300173806

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
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Linda Stratmann's riveting biography of the Marquess paints a far more complex picture by drawing on new sources and unpublished letters. 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.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
Publish Date: Jun 2013
ISBN-13: 9780300173802
ISBN-10: 0300173806
Format: Hardcover
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

Chapter outline

List of Illustrationsp. viii
Authors Notep. x
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Queensberry Family Treesp. xv
Introduction: The Cardp. xvii
Son and Heirp. 1
The Queensberry Inheritancep. 16
The Young Gentlemanp. 27
Night on a Mountainp. 42
'He Thought He Loved'p. 52
The Game and Sporting Lordp. 67
Original Notionsp. 81
Judged by his Peersp. 95
An Undercurrent of Eccentricityp. 107
Full of Woesp. 121
Four Sons and a Daughterp. 137
The Antipathy of Similarsp. 149
A Serious Slightp. 161
Wounded Feelingsp. 174
Catastrophep. 189
A Family Dividedp. 203
The Peer and the Poetp. 214
In the Dockp. 227
The Price of Victoryp. 239
'Where Stars shall ever shed their light'p. 255
Epiloguep. 274
Notesp. 279
Bibliographyp. 292
Indexp. 304

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2013-06-01)

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.

Book description

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 of the Marquess paints a far more complex picture by drawing on new sources and unpublished letters.

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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