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Oscar Wilde and His Circle

Oscar Wilde and His Circle cover Oscar Wilde and His Circle interior spread

Simon Callow is a writer, actor and director of international standing. His books include Being and Actor (1995), Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor , Orson Welles (1995) and Love is Where it Falls (1999)

166 x 121mm, 128 pages
27 illustrations, 13 in colour
£8.99 (hardback)
ISBN 1 85514 312 7

Out of Print

Oscar Wilde and His Circle
Simon Callow

One of literature's most flamboyant and witty personalities, the much-quoted Oscar Wilde captivated and scandalised late nineteenth-century society in Europe and America.

Wilde was a pioneer of celebrity, whose friends and contemporaries included Aubrey Beardsley, Lillie Langtry, James McNeill Whistler, Sir Max Beerbohm and Ada Leverson. But Wilde is undoubtedly best known for the circumstances of his love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas ('Bosie'), and the subsequent libel case against Bosie's father, the Marquess of Queensberry. The tragedy of Wilde's own downfall and imprisonment has become one of the defining events of the modern age; allied with his unsurpassed wit and the legacy of his plays and writings, it has made him one of the most iconic figures in literature. In this perceptive appraisal of Wilde and his circle, Simon Callow brilliantly captures the spirit of one of Britain's most celebrated but ultimately tragic literary giants.


The National Portrait Gallery's Character Sketches is a series of compact, fully illustrated, historical guides to literary and artistic personalities and themes. Written by well-known writers of today, they use images from the Gallery's unique collection to examine the public and the private faces, the lives, thoughts and relationships, both artistic and personal, within each selected group.

This product is supplied by the National Portrait Gallery Company Limited. For more information on the Company, click here. Every purchase supports the National Portrait Gallery.

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