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Franny Moyle: Constance

Franny Moyle: Constance

The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde. UK 2012, 374 pp. with numerous photographs, brochure, € 24.95
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John Murray
In the spring of 1895 Constance Wilde - popular children's author, fashion icon and leading campaigner for women's rights - found her life changed beyond all recognition. Up until the conviction of her husband, Oscar, for homosexual crimes, she as part of a gilded couple had held a privileged position in society. A founding member of the magical society the Golden Dawn, her pioneering and questioning spirit encouraged her to sample some of the more controversial aspects of her time. Mrs Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in her own right. But that spring Constance's entire life was eclipsed by scandal. She was forced to flee to the Continent with her two sons, her glittering literary and political career ended abruptly. Having changed her name, she lived in exile until her death. Franny Moyle now tells Constance's story with a fresh eye and remarkable new material. Drawing on numerous unpublished letters, she brings to life the story of a woman at the heart of fin-de-siècle London and the Aesthetic movement.
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