For Wilde, as for many people, reading could be as powerful and transformative an experience as falling in love. He devoured books, talked books, luxuriated in books and lavished books on his friends- they played, too, a vital part in his seductions of young men.
Oscar's Books tells the story of Wilde's life through his reading, from his childhood in Dublin, where he was nurtured on Celtic myth, Romantic poetry and Irish folklore; through his undergraduate years in which he built his intellect out of books; to prison, where his friends supplied him with literature which saved his sanity; to his final years in Paris where he consoled himself with old favourites such as Flaubert and Balzac.
Fresh, utterly engaging and wholly original, Oscar's Books is an entirely new kind of biography.
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Entertaining and highly original, Oscar's Books is animated by a real intellectual passion. It should be read by anyone interested in Wilde or in the art of literary biography - Peter Ackroyd
Wholly original book about reading, its comforts and its perils, an eccentric landmark in the art of literary biography - Mail on Sunday
The premise of the book is gorgeous...the book is both thorough and intriguing - Guardian
No other scholar of Wilde has succeeded so well in moving into Oscar's head - Irish Times
A remarkable new biography...the result is an original and compelling book - Literary Review
Intriguing...he has written an indispensible guide - Daily Telegraph
Wright's account of Wilde's life is fun and thorough...behind Wright's light touch lies a thoughtful, illuminating book - Gay Times
A charmingly eccentric attempt to tell Wilde's story through his reading - Independent on Sunday
This arresting book on Oscar Wilde has much to commend it - Independent
An original version of one of history's great writers and book-lovers - The Times
An enthralling biography of Wilde the reader - Guardian
In suitably lyrical language, Wright presents a portrait of this artist painted with the extensive palette of European literature - a colourful, sensitive and lavish image with which any bibliophile could empathise - Irish Times
Of Anglo-Irish descent, Thomas Wright was educated at Saint Thomas More School, Bedford. Overwhelmed by The Picture of Dorian Grayin his teens, he applied for Magdalen, Oscar Wilde's college at Oxford, and was accepted; during his time there he occupied a room containing the fireplace that once stood in the library of Wilde's Chelsea home. He has frequently lectured on Wilde and written countless articles about him. He is the author of Oscar Wilde's Table Talk. Thomas Wright lives in Genoa and London, and sometimes writes about subjects unconnected with his hero.