BENJAMIN F. FISHER/ 353 BENJAMIN F. FISHER This year's coverage is, with one exception, devoted mainly to brief items. The exception is Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters, ed. Merlin Holland (Carroll and Graf, 2007). Holland has selected and edited letters from that larger volume of Wilde's correspondence, ed. Rupert Hart-Davis (1962; 1985; and the Complete Letters, 2000, with Holland), to create a readable, but documentary account of Wilde's life for non-specialist audiences. Since Wilde's writings have always held out wide appeal to varied readerships, such an undertaking has been worthwhile. The book is divided into eleven sections, each focused on an individual era in Wilde's life and career. Holland's introductions, first to the volume itself, then to each of the eleven sections are brief but nevertheless sound, illuminating overviews to the topic that follows while the equally brief interspersed narrative comments will help the non-specialist reader. Minus some of the rather perfunctory business correspondence that is included in the earlier edition, we get a more immediate sense of Wilde's own lively, witty personality, which is most emphatic in the first four sections; the sections that follow indicate a far more grave outlook on life. That is not
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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