Thursday 22 February 2018

Wilde blinded by brilliance

Madam -- While I agree with Declan Lynch that the genius of Wilde, who died over 100 years ago, still resonates in the modern world (Sunday Independent, Feb 5, 2012), we should not forget that his brilliance as a writer also blinded him to the advice of friends over the Marquis of Queensberry.

GB Shaw, Frank Harris and Robert Ross advised him not to take legal proceedings against Queensberry.

It was Wilde's infatuation with Queensberry's youngest son which set off the train of events that culminated in the libel case where Edward Carson destroyed Wilde's credibility in the witness box. But Carson and Wilde were contemporaries at Trinity College and were known to be friends at that time. Wilde's family usually went to a holiday home in Co Mayo and Carson to the homes of his Lambert relatives in Co Galway. Indeed, Carson, who was much taken with the new game of hurling (1874), invited Wilde to Castle Ellen to see how this new sport was being played.

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