The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde is a book written by the Irish poet Oscar Wilde. It consists of more than a thousand pages of letters. Most of the letters of this book are written to Lord Alfred Douglas. At first, this collection of letters is published as The Letters of Oscar Wilde in 1963, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis and published by his publishing house.
What is the significance of Letters of Oscar Wilde?
Almost after 100 years of Wilde’s death, his letters are finally published. Oscar Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland revises the book. The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde is an edited version of the previously published book by Merlin Holland & Rupert Hart-Davis. This new edition is published in 2000 by Henry Holt and Company LLC, New York and Fourth Estate, London.
Merlin Holland includes an introduction to the book which explains the reason behind publishing the book. It has an autobiographical element of Oscar Wilde and also some of his drawings and the letters, he has written to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. This book is a personal exploration of Wilde’s life and thoughts.
In England, he decides to end this phase of his life and begin a new. He marries a tall, slim and beautiful soulmate, the Constance, in a gorgeous dress. He starts to contradict his own clarity of advice.
Wilde is already struggling to get attention so he goes to America to achieve more fame and fulfil his wish and be famous as a literary celebrity.
Oscar Wilde is one of the most tragic victims of society. He has been imprisoned multiple times for his attempt to gross indecency. But the greatest virtue he has is his intellectual and passionate and impressive poetic style.
The networking of Wilde is really wide so when his downfall comes, it is much harder for him to overcome its brutality. In this tensed situation, people start to see Wilde with scornful eyes and mockingly discusses boys. Wilde’s silence is clearly indicating to his downfall.
In the second part of the book describes the hardships of Wilde. The tragic downfall has started to take its place. Oscar Wilde elaborates the problems he was facing to Lord Alfred Douglas and he decides to take a stand. He explains to him that he wants to stay with him courageously and does not seem to be a coward.
He wants to get rid of the pen name and the disguise as he dos not want to hide things anymore and this has made his life miserable.
Wilde thinks about to write to the famous celebrity of the Old Bailey, Ada Leverson, who has influenced Wilde greatly. He elaborates everything about his problems in his letter. The original unedited book has letters from Reading Gaol and also De Profundis.
After this, Wilde’s Constance dies. This incident leaves Wilde in miseries and he starts to suffer from financial difficulties and social disgrace. He flies to Paris with advice from his friends. He dies in a hotel room in Paris.
Wilde meets a 21 years old aristocrat Lord Alfred Douglas, who is referred to as “Bosie”, in spring of 1891.
Lord Alfred is an Oxford undergraduate and talented poet. He is the literary muse of the poet.
The literary bond between Wilde and Ross is clearly visible through this book. The context and content of these letters are very critical. It is important to have the document of the letters that are written to Bosie and the letters, received from him.
According to Wilde’s letters, Bosie’s charm has amazed him. The love letters of Wilde is one of the major reasons for his downfall. The problem starts when Mr Wood finds out the letters of Oscar Wilde and this invites a disaster into Wilde’s life. This comes to a threat to Wilde and he bribed Mr wood to return those letters as the relationship between Wilde and Bosie is at sake.
This book is a masterpiece of Wilde’s literary work. In an age of savage words, this text becomes the legend of vocabulary. This is very effective in some ways of literature. This brings out the idea of tragedy in a beautiful way. This book is very realistic and subtle. It shows the cost that human beings have to pay through their lives.
The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde analysis
Oscar Wilde is astonishingly witty and humorous. He has formed his art through his intelligence and made his career. The letters are a brilliant example of his genius. Each of the 109 letters of the book is a masterpiece and a present to literature by Wilde.
The Irish poet has his fame in London and then the travels to America for being more popular as a literary artist. Wilde then flies to Paris in his exile. Meanwhile, he is flourished with humanity and the sense of Christianity. During the whole process, he enriches himself with more wit and brilliance.
Merlin Holland, the grandson of Oscar Wilde revises the book, The Letters of Oscar Wilde. Merlin and Rupert Hart Davis then edited the book and published a new edition of it and named it as The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, in 2000, almost after the centenary of Wilde’s death.
This book is a collection of experiences throughout Wilde’s life.
Wilde gains popularity as a witty and humorous writer and a homosexual. He is punished multiple times for attempting gross indecency.
This book has the letters mostly to his friends, lover and fake friends, actors and actresses. He has an unfulfilled dream of working in plays with his favourite actors and actresses. It has complaint letters about the press and the publishing of his books and plays as he was very particularly passionate about his art. Some of these letters speak about his tours and the cancelled plans which he cancelled for no reason.
In 1900 Wilde has died alone in a hotel room in Paris. He is considered to be one of the most influential poets till now. His friends have written his biographies after his death.
The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde quotes
• “My desire to live is as intense as ever, and though my heart is broken, hearts are made to be broken: that is why God sends sorrow into the world.”
• “I never came across anyone in whom the moral sense was dominant who was not heartless, cruel, vindictive, log-stupid, and entirely lacking in the smallest sense of humanity. Moral people, as they are termed, are simple beasts.”
• “Christ did not die to save people, but to teach people how to save each other. This is, I have no doubt, a grave heresy, but it is also a fact.”