So first of all today is Oscar Wilde’s birthday so I thought this would be a perfect time to post it.
Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century by Phillip Hoare
In the spring of 1918 London, Oscar Wilde was put on trial eighteen years after his death.
A staging of the Wilde’s play Salomé was finally permitted with Maud Allan as the lead. Her eroticism outraged Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament. He denounced her as part of the Cult of Clitoris, the female version of the Cult of Wilde.
He believed this cult had infected the land with its perversion.
Maud sued Billing for libel and the trial that followed held the world in thrall. Did Billing really have a black book with the names of 47,000 members of the Cult of Wilde? Where they promoting degeneracy? Or was Billing just paranoid and hysterical?
Thoughts After Reading:
This book was the most boring-est I’ve ever read. The author just throws you with so many characters and backstories it almost makes your mind want to explode as you are trying to figure out which character is important and need to be known later and who is filler.
The book just crawled by too. It made it horrible to read.
I think it would have been better if they started with the trial, giving us a taste, and then went into the people so we knew who was who. I didn’t like it and I don’t think I’ll be reading any of Hoare’s work in the future.
For more nonfiction, go to The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town