Oscar's Ghost Reviews and Interviews
Laura Lee’s Oscar’s Ghost provides a variation on biography as retrospective: biography is not just a matter of looking back at a life, but instead a question of how the sources of that life are assembled for posterity...The back and forth of the lawsuits, mainly a result of Douglas’s relentless persecution of Ross, makes for compelling reading in Lee’s book.
...useful--and enjoyable--addition to the Wildean canon... full of good things, novel insights and interesting asides...The intricacies and repetitions of the various court cases initiated by Ross, Douglas, Crosland and others can be fascinating, tedious, dispiriting and incomprehensible-- almost all at the same time... There is much impressive research here and [Lee] lays it out with a light, sometimes humorous touch...Lee brings a certain freshness to her project.
It is unsentimental and non-judgemental; and it usefully draws on contemporary newspaper reports to reconstruct personal appearances in court by the various participants.
...a fascinating account of the feud between Robert Ross and Alfred Douglas and of Wilde’s legacy...While the relationship between Wilde and Douglas cannot simply be seen as just a great tragic love story that was thwarted by dark forces, nonetheless the complications that beset it, and the personalities of the two lovers themselves, make it one of the most fascinating gay love stories.
Meticulously researched and evenly presented, Lee presents the dramatis personae in their full contradictory glory... More than a dry retelling of queer history, it is an engaging story in its own right.
“My read is that they lost the energy to fight the world to be together, but that they didn’t stop loving one another.”
Oscar Wilde's Deathbed Tears for the Man He Never Stopped Loving, Alfred Douglas. The Times of London.
Oscar Wilde's Deathbed Tears for his Only Love. Daily Mail.
"They were both quite a bit younger than him, and he talked about art and made them feel like they were part of a community, part of something that was forward-looking and exciting instead of being on the margins. So I think that they were both very devoted to him, and they both felt, in different ways, responsible for parts of what had happened to him ... I think a lot of their feud was not wanting to be blamed for what happened.”
Laura Lee on the Dispute over Oscar Wilde's Legacy. Michigan Daily.
"I just do the projects that come to me, whether through assignments, or because I have stumbled onto an idea that just won’t let go and I know I’ll have the momentum to finish."
Author Interview with Laura Lee. Literative.
“The mythology of Wilde was created in part by Wilde himself and in part by this feud between Ross and Douglas who were left behind, each dealing with their own grief and guilt and the desire to control not only his story but their own life stories. In the process, they created a lot of what we know about Oscar Wilde today.”
A Wilde Afterlife. Pulp.
The History of Literature Podcast: Oscar Wilde's Legacy with Laura Lee
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Oscar Wilde by Laura Lee. Female First.
How Fake News Becomes History. History News Network.
"Over the years a certain orthodoxy about the events surrounding Wilde’s imprisonment has emerged, if not within the world of Wilde scholarship, at least in the public imagination. The battle between Ross and Douglas shaped much of that story. That process, how a story can impact a person’s life, how its interpretation can become a matter of life and death, and how one narrative finally wins fascinated me as a writer."
Oscar's Ghost. Booklovers Book Review.