Books

Wilde's Women

Wilde's Women
How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew
Eleanor Fitzsimons
Price: £
9.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
8 Sep 2016
ISBN: 
9780715651193
Pages: 
320
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

Hailed as a gay icon and champion of individualism, Oscar Wilde was also a staunch defender of gender equality. Indeed, women were central to his life and career, from his extraordinary mother Jane and sister Isola, to his accomplished wife Constance and a coterie of other free-thinking writers, actors and artists.

Wilde’s Women is the first book to tell the story of the female friends and colleagues with whom Wilde traded witticisms, who gave him access to vital publicity, and whose ideas he expressed in his social comedies. Here, Eleanor Fitzsimons reframes Wilde’s story and his legacy through the women in his life, including such fascinating figures as Florence Balcombe (who left him for Bram Stoker), the actress Lillie Langtry, and his tragic and witty niece Dolly. In the process, she reveals how Wilde played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women, and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society on the cusp of change.

Read an extract

Reviews

‘A remarkable book… the breadth and depth of research astonishing’ Emma Thompson

‘Engaging and sympathetic biography, which also illustrates extremely well the circles of artistic and literary women of the time’ Independent on Sunday

‘Over a century on, Oscar Wilde continues to hypnotise us… Eleanor Fitzsimmons is to be congratulated’ Simon Callow, Guardian

‘Lively new study… providing a broad cultural history of professional women’s lives in Wilde’s time’ The Irish Times

Eleanor Fitzsimons

About Eleanor Fitzsimons

Eleanor Fitzsimons is a researcher, writer, journalist, and occasional broadcaster specialising in historical and current feminist issues. Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and journals including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Irish Times. She is a regular radio and television contributor.

Wilde's Women

Wilde's Women
How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew
Eleanor Fitzsimons
Price: £
20.00
  • Hardback
Published: 
16 Oct 2015
ISBN: 
9780715649367
Pages: 
320
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

Hailed as a gay icon and pioneer of individualism, Oscar Wilde's insistence that 'there should be no law for anybody' made him a staunch defender of gender equality. Throughout his life from his relationship to his extraordinary mother Jane and the tragedy of his sister Isola's early death to his accomplished wife, Constance, and a coterie of other free-thinking writers, actors and artists, women were a central aspect of his life and career. Wilde's Women is the first book to tell the story of his female friends and colleagues who traded witticisms with Wilde but also give him access to vital publicity and whose ideas he gave expression through his social comedies.

Author Eleanor Fitzsimons reframes Wilde's story and his legacy through the women in his life including such fascinating figures as Florence Balcombe who left him for Bram Stoker, actress Lillie Langtry (who for a while was an inseparable friend) and his tragic and witty niece, Dolly, who bore a strong resemblance to the writer and loved fast cars, cocaine and foreign women.

Full of fascinating detail and anecdotes, Wilde's Women relates the untold story of how the writer played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society in the process of changing forever.

Reviews

‘A remarkable book… the breadth and depth of research astonishing’ Emma Thompson

‘Engaging and sympathetic biography, which also illustrates extremely well the circles of artistic and literary women of the time’ Independent on Sunday

‘Over a century on, Oscar Wilde continues to hypnotise us… Eleanor Fitzsimmons is to be congratulated’ Simon Callow, Guardian

‘Lively new study… providing a broad cultural history of professional women’s lives in Wilde’s time’ The Irish Times

Eleanor Fitzsimons

About Eleanor Fitzsimons

Eleanor Fitzsimons is a researcher, writer, journalist, and occasional broadcaster specialising in historical and current feminist issues. Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and journals including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and The Irish Times. She is a regular radio and television contributor.