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The action for criminal libel brought by Oscar Wilde against the Marquess of Queensberry involved the brilliant playwright in serious trouble, and resulted in his being arrested and charged with having committed offences under the recently passed Criminal Law Amendment Act. Wilde was jointly charged with a notorious character, Alfred Taylor, and the jury failed to agree. At the second trial he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
Literary geniuses have appeared in the dock on more than one occasion, but seldom on so serious a charge as that of sodomy. Oscar Wilde was one of the great personalities of the eighteen nineties and his work remains part of the heritage of our literature. In the witness box he fully lived up to his reputation as a wit and his epigrammatic witticism give a strange flavour to this account of proceedings in an English Court of Law.
This is the fullest and most authoritative account of the three Oscar Wilde trials that has yet been published. The editor, who has enjoyed special facilities in his study of the subject, has written an excellent and compre¬hensive introduction which will itself be of value to all students of Wilde; and he has also included some instructive studies arising out of the case in the six appendices.
The late Sir Travers Humphreys, who was briefed as Wilde's junior counsel in all three trials, contributed his interesting personal recollections of this notable cause celebre in a Foreword to this book.
This Jacket is for the 5th Impression, 1960.