Lord Alfred Douglas: Happy? Birthday

alfreddouglas_cropYesterday was the anniversary of the birth of Lord Alfred Douglas.

I looked up some of what was written on social media to commemorate the auspicious event. Some highlights:

“remembered as Oscar Wilde’s downfall…”

a “mean spirited mincing queen intent on self-destruction.”  In the end it was Wilde who was destroyed.

Lord Alfred Douglas will go down in gay history as the original “evil queen”.

On days like this it seems clear who the loser of the war over the Wilde narrative was.

Happy birthday, Bosie.



  1. There’s a very interesting new book on the way from Nicholas Frankel – Oscar Wilde: the unrepentant years – in which Bosie is portrayed in a far more favourable light than usual and praised as a literary man. Extremely interesting book & fascinating take on LAD, although I still can’t warm to him!

    1. It’s out now and I have been reading it. He has a very similar take to mine in Oscar’s Ghost on Oscar’s post-prison relationship with Bosie.

      There is a lot to blame Bosie for, but I think he is too much blamed for his relationship with Wilde.

      1. I’ve reviewed it for the Irish Times so I’ve read it closely too & I think it’s excellent. Brilliant writing & includes so many voices we rarely hear. Everything he writes about LAD is true but he behaved so badly later in life too that I’ll always struggle to like him.

      2. I can’t say that I would necessarily like Bosie if I met him. I think it would depend a great deal on the time and context. That’s actually what I like about the story. I like the complexity of all of the people involved. I like it when a less sympathetic character is right, or when a character with many good sides does bad things. Too many stories with white hats and black hats to my way of looking at things, and this is a very messy story.

        Do you select what you review yourself? I’d be happy to send you an electronic galley of Oscar’s Ghost if it would be of interest to you, or have the publisher send you a physical book. Amberley is a smaller publisher, which makes it harder to get it reviewed.

      3. I’d love to review your book. I do quite a bit of reviewing but I’m always commissioned so I don’t get to choose. I generally get sent Wilde & his circle (just did 2 Shaw Books) because of my work but I’ve reviewed fiction etc too. Best I could do is put a review on my blog, which is read by a lot of Wilde fans. Oscar Wilde Society might do a piece – I could send them something for Intentions?

  2. Would you prefer an ebook or physical book? If an ebook, I can send it myself. If a physical book, I will see if I can get the publisher to send one.

    I have found that whether a book gets reviews seems to depend entirely on who the publisher is.

    1. An ebook would be great thanks. Re: Small publisher, tell me about it! Very difficult to generate reviews when you’re with a small publisher, although I found it helped enormously that I, like you, wrote about OW so I got a few big ones (Guardian, Independent, Literary Review, Washington Post, TLS). Worth sending a copy to the biggies. I look forward to reading it immensely!

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