For the past several years, I have been working on a book on the Oscar Wilde circle. It has been a labor of love, with documents and sources spread across many countries. I have traveled to archives, squinted at messy Victorian handwriting, hired researchers, paid to have scans made of primary documents, and purchased rare books that were not available in our library system. (Not to mention reading stacks of books that were.) I am in the last stages of writing now. I am to deliver the manuscript in November, and I’m really excited to share the story I have uncovered. I am taking advance orders of Oscar’s Ghost now. By buying in advance, you not only get a copy of the book, you help make the book possible.
The publisher has already listed the title on Goodreads. Here is the blurb:
After the death of Oscar Wilde, two of the playwright’s closest friends – both former lovers – went to battle against each other over who would control the narrative about Wilde’s life, and who history would blame for his death. The battle between Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, the playwright’s greatest love, and Robert Ross, Wilde’s devoted friend and literary executor, was particularly ugly, and led to the revelation of sexual secrets and personal letters, blackmail, stalking, and no fewer than five lawsuits. It was a struggle that was not only to have serious consequences for the two participants, but which also affected how Oscar Wilde is remembered today. Each man tried to use the secrets from their former intimacy against the other: Ross was systematic, had more friends, and as Wilde’s executor had access to all of Wilde’s papers, including personal letters from Douglas to Wilde; Douglas had a single-minded focus, a tenacious fighting spirit, and the sense of entitlement that came with his title. He wore Ross down through sheer brute force, but was himself crippled at times by his own struggle with mental illness. ‘Oscar’s Ghost’ is the first book to focus solely on this heated feud and to consider as fairly as possible the dramatic events and actions of all parties involved.
My research expenses (and time) have all been out of pocket, and with the exception of an honorarium sized advance on delivery, the eventual royalties will come– if they come– years down the line, as literary royalties are wont to do. Coming into the home stretch, my resources are running thin and I would greatly appreciate your support.
If you are planning to buy Oscar’s Ghost, please consider making an advance purchase now. The release date is slated for June 2017. It is being published by the UK publisher Amberley Books with a cover price of £20 ($26).