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Picture of Oscar Wilde's Elegant Republic

Oscar Wilde's Elegant Republic

Transformation, Dislocation and Fantasy in fin-de-siècle Paris

Author(s): David Charles Rose

Book Description

Why was Paris so popular as a place of both innovation and exile in the late nineteenth century? Using French, English and American sources, this first volume of a trilogy provides a possible answer with a detailed exploration of both the city and its communities, who, forming a varied cast of colourful characters from duchesses to telephonists, artists to beggars, and dancers to diplomats, crowd the stage. Through the throng moves Oscar Wilde as the connecting thread: Wilde exploratory, Wilde triumphant, Wilde ruined. This use of Wilde as a central figure provides both a cultural history of Paris and a view of how he assimilated himself there.

By interweaving fictional representations of Paris and Parisians with historical narrative, Paris of the imagination is blended with the topography of the city described by Victor Hugo as ‘this great phantom composed of darkness and light’.

This original treatment of the belle époque is couched in language accessible to all who wish to explore Paris on foot or from an armchair.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-8360-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-8360-3
Date of Publication: 01/12/2015
Pages / Size: 610 / A5
Price: £73.99


David Charles Rose was born in London and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a student and disciple of A.J.P. Taylor, and at University College, Dublin. In 1995, he became the first Director of the Oscar Wilde Summer School in Bray, County Wicklow, before moving to Goldsmiths College, University of London, as Visiting Tutor and Sessional Lecturer, where he created THE OSCHOLARS, an online resource of Oscar Wilde scholarship. He made his home in Paris in 2004, but now lives in Royan, Charente Maritime. Current president of the Société Oscar Wilde, he is married to Danielle Guérin, editor of the online review of Wilde studies, Rue des Beaux Arts and author of Oscar Wilde, Qui suis-je? (Editions Pardès, 2014).