Oscar Wilde's Last Stand

Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century

Oscar Wilde's Last Stand

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year that Sir Ian McKellen called “a shocking tale of heroes and villains—illuminating and upsetting in equal measure.” The first production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in 1918, with American exotic dancer Maud Allan dancing lead, ignited a firestorm in London spearheaded by Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament and self-appointed guardian of family values. Billing attacked Allan in the right-wing newspaper Vigilante as a member of the “Cult of the Clitoris,” a feminine version of the “Cult of the Wilde,” a catchall for the degeneracy and perversion he was convinced had infected the land. He claimed that a black book was in the hands of their enemies the Germans, a book that contained the names of thousands of the British establishment who without doubt were members of the cult. Threat of exposure was costing England the war. Allan sued Billing for libel, and the ensuing trial, brought to life in this authoritative, spellbinding book, held the world in thrall. Was there or was there not a black book? What names did it contain? The trial was both hugely entertaining and deadly serious and raised specters of hysteria, homophobia, and paranoia that, like Oscar Wilde himself, continue to haunt us. As in Wilde’s own trial in 1895, libel was hardly the issue; the fight was for control over the country’s moral compass. In Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, biographer and historian Philip Hoare gives us the full drama of the Billing trial, gavel to gavel, and brings to life this unique, bizarre, and fascinating event. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Wilde's last stand

decadence, conspiracy & the First World War

Wilde's last stand

"In January 1918, the Imperialist newspaper [published by the Independent MP for East Hertfordshire, Noel Pemberton Billing] made a startling claim. The German Secret Service had the names of 47,000 members of the British establishment who were sexual deviants and Britain was losing the war because Germany was blackmailing them. In the sensational libel trial that followed, the main target was Maud Allan, the Salome dancer with high society connections and a dark secret. Meanwhile, Oscar Wilde's closest friends were drawn into the affair in a bitter battle for his reputation."--Back cover.

Oscar Wilde's Last Stand

Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century

Oscar Wilde's Last Stand

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year that Sir Ian McKellen called “a shocking tale of heroes and villains—illuminating and upsetting in equal measure.” The first production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in 1918, with American exotic dancer Maud Allan dancing lead, ignited a firestorm in London spearheaded by Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament and self-appointed guardian of family values. Billing attacked Allan in the right-wing newspaper Vigilante as a member of the “Cult of the Clitoris,” a feminine version of the “Cult of the Wilde,” a catchall for the degeneracy and perversion he was convinced had infected the land. He claimed that a black book was in the hands of their enemies the Germans, a book that contained the names of thousands of the British establishment who without doubt were members of the cult. Threat of exposure was costing England the war. Allan sued Billing for libel, and the ensuing trial, brought to life in this authoritative, spellbinding book, held the world in thrall. Was there or was there not a black book? What names did it contain? The trial was both hugely entertaining and deadly serious and raised specters of hysteria, homophobia, and paranoia that, like Oscar Wilde himself, continue to haunt us. As in Wilde’s own trial in 1895, libel was hardly the issue; the fight was for control over the country’s moral compass. In Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, biographer and historian Philip Hoare gives us the full drama of the Billing trial, gavel to gavel, and brings to life this unique, bizarre, and fascinating event. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Re-visiting Female Evil

Power, Purity and Desire

Re-visiting Female Evil

Mischievous, beguiling, seductive, lascivious, unruly, carping, vengeful and manipulative – from the Disney princess to the murderous Medea, the articles in Re-visiting Female Evil grapple with our understanding of what it is to be and do evil femininities.

Oscar Wilde as a Character in Victorian Fiction

Oscar Wilde as a Character in Victorian Fiction

This book documents how Oscar Wilde was appropriated as a fictional character by no less than thirty-two of his contemporaries, including such celebrated writers as Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, George Bernard Shaw and Bram Stoker.

Refiguring Oscar Wilde's Salome

Refiguring Oscar Wilde's Salome

While Oscar WildeOCOs delightfully-witty comedies of manners receive the most fanfare from the general public and much of academia, WildeOCOs most OC seriousOCO playOCo Salome OCorightfully deserves an equal amount of attention. Written by emerging scholars, established scholars, and notable Wilde scholars at the top of the field, the far-ranging essays in this bookOCothe first collection solely on WildeOCOs Salome OCoprovide new readings of the play, allowing us to better assess how and why Salome either fits or does not fit into WildeOCOs oeuvre. Framed in a new light in this collection, this fuller understanding of Salome should potentially change the way we read both Salome and WildeOCOs entire oeuvre."

"Hatching Ruin," Or, Mark Twain's Road to Bankruptcy

In "Hatching Ruin," Charles H. Gold provides a complete description of Samuel L. Clemens's business relationships with Charles L. Webster and James W. Paige during the 1880s. Gold analyzes how these relationships affected Clemens as a person and an artist, most notably in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The 1880s were a time when Samuel Clemens was more businessman than author. Clemens wanted to be rich. From an early age, he had dreamed of wealth. Suspicious of his previous publisher, Clemens started a publishing company and placed Charles L. Webster, who was married to his niece, at the head of it. He also invested large sums of money with James Paige, who was developing a typesetting machine. These were to be Clemens's instruments of success--his way to bring technology to the world and become so rich that he would never need to earn money again. Unfortunately for him, Paige was a perfectionist and a compulsive tinkerer who never stopped working on the typesetting machine. When, after early success, the publishing company began to fail, Clemens was unable to continue his investments in the typesetter. He blamed both Webster and Paige for his failure to "get rich quick" and for his eventual bankruptcy in 1894. Gold argues that these financial changes in his life helped to shape Connecticut Yankee, an important novel and cultural statement. At the beginning of the 1880s, while life was still good, Clemens wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in part a nostalgic look at youth and innocence in preindustrial America. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, written after the author's financial failures, is a savage condemnation of the Gilded Age, especially technology's role in it. Gold's "Hatching Ruin" tells for the first time the full story of Clemens's experiences as an investor, employer, and entrepreneur during the Gilded Age. Gold uses previously unpublished material from family correspondence and Clemens's autobiographical dictations to present a far more complex picture of the man most people know only as Mark Twain. He also offers a fuller depiction of Charles Webster and his relationship with Clemens than was previously available, while answering many questions that have hung over that relationship. This book will have a wide appeal to both Twain students and scholars, as well as anyone interested in social history.

British Theatre and Performance 1900-1950

British Theatre and Performance 1900-1950

British theatre from 1900 to 1950 has been subject to radical re-evaluation with plays from the period setting theatres alight and gaining critical acclaim once again; this book explains why, presenting a comprehensive survey of the theatre and how it shaped the work that followed. Rebecca D'Monte examines how the emphasis upon the working class, 'angry' drama from the 1950s has led to the neglect of much of the century's earlier drama, positioning the book as part of the current debate about the relationship between war and culture, the middlebrow, and historiography. In a comprehensive survey of the period, the book considers: - the Edwardian theatre; - the theatre of the First World War, including propaganda and musicals; -the interwar years, the rise of commercial theatre and influence of Modernism; - the theatre of the Second World War and post-war period. Essays from leading scholars Penny Farfan, Steve Nicholson and Claire Cochrane give further critical perspectives on the period's theatre and demonstrate its relevance to the drama of today. For anyone studying 20th-century British Drama this will prove one of the foundational texts.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

A short, readable introduction to Oscar Wilde's life, work and afterlife.

Gender and Ventriloquism in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction

Passionate Puppets

Gender and Ventriloquism in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction

Is ventriloquism just for dummies? What is at stake in neo-Victorian fiction's desire to 'talk back' to the nineteenth century? This book explores the sexual politics of dialogues between the nineteenth century and contemporary fiction, offering a new insight into the concept of ventriloquism as a textual and metatextual theme in literature.