Oscar Wilde: A Literary Life tracks the intellectual biography of one of the most influential minds of the nineteenth century. Rather than focusing on the dramatic events of Wilde’s life, this volume documents Wilde’s impressive forays into education, religion, science, philosophy, and social reform. In so doing, it provides an accessible and yet detailed account that reflects Wilde’s own commitment to the “contemplative life.” Suitable for seasoned readers as well as those new to the study of his work, Oscar Wilde: A Literary Life brings Wilde’s intellectual investments into sharp focus, while placing him within a cultural landscape that was always evolving and often fraught with contradiction.
About the Author
Kimberly J. Stern is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She is the editor of a Broadview edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (2015) and author of The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Criticism, and the Politics of Belonging (2016).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Biographer.- Chapter 2: The Teacher.- Chapter 3: The Priest.- Chapter 4: The Scientist.- Chapter 5: The Philosopher.- Chapter 6: The Reformer.
What People are Saying About This
“A welcome assessment of key elements in Wilde's intellectual make-up. The Wilde who emerges is first and foremost a thinker. Stern is particularly illuminating on the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of Wilde's thought, as well as his ambivalence towards philosophical discourse as such.” (Nicholas Frankel, Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, and author of Oscar Wilde's Decorated Books and Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years (2017))
“There has long been a need for an intellectual biography of Oscar Wilde, a need addressed with great aplomb by Professor Stern’s book. With impressive scholarship and sensitivity she explores Wilde’s complex and fluid engagements with the fields of biography, education, religion, science, philosophy and politics throughout his career, in a work that both undergraduates and long-time scholars of Wilde will find equally illuminating.” (Dr. Iain Ross, author of Oscar Wilde and Ancient Greece (2012))