Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mrs. Oscar Wilde

In case you were wondering whatever happened to Mrs. Wilde and the children, there is a new book about her.
'The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life," wrote Oscar Wilde. Given Wilde's current reputation as the patron saint of homosexuality. many people may not even know that, when Wilde went to jail in 1895 for "gross indecency," he left behind a wife and two young sons. In "Constance," the British biographer Franny Moyle shows that Wilde chose his wife with love and discernment. She was not only a fit match—including standing 5-foot-8 to his 6-foot-3—but a woman worth a second look on her own.

Constance Lloyd came from the same Dublin social world of cultured professionals as Oscar Wilde—they met there in 1881. His father was a noted eye and ear surgeon; hers was a barrister. Constance was comfortably provided for, thanks to her grandfather's financial cleverness in devising the Lloyd's Bond, a form of investment much relied upon in the railway boom. She had the usual ladylike accomplishments—playing the piano, painting, doing needlework—and dabbled in fashionable Arts and Crafts-related handicrafts. But she aspired higher, reading Dante in Italian, for instance, and taking a university class on Shelley when women were still not allowed to earn university degrees. Oscar and Constance also shared interests in clothes, interior design and social gatherings. They married in 1884, and promptly had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

The real tragedy was that he married and dragged other lives along with him in reckless abandon. Ignoring his personal life, I must say I love his work.