One of the most famous love affairs in literary history is that of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Bosie Douglas. As a direct consequence of this relationship, Wilde underwent three trials in 1895. In this text, Merlin Holland presents the original transcript of the Wilde versus Queensberry trial.
One of the most famous love affairs in literary history is that of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Bosie Douglas. As a direct consequence of this relationship, Wilde underwent three trials in quick succession in 1895, marking the beginning of the end for his celebrated career. In the first, he sued the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel for leaving his card at Wilde's club on which had been written "For Oscar Wilde posing sodomite". Wilde's case collapsed on the third day, when Queensberry's counsel, Edward Carson, started to introduce the evidence of young male prostitutes or "renters", whom the defence had found in London's homosexual underworld. Wilde was arrested the same evening and tried twice (the first ended in a hung jury) for "gross indecency". In this volume, the transcript of the trial that redirected Wilde's history is reproduced. It contains the actual exchanges that took place in the courtroom, raising new questions about Queensbury's intentions towards his son, as well as casting new light on Wilde's demeanour throughout the ordeal.