Thu, Sep 13, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Original ‘Dorian Gray’ reveals forbidden love

Published for the first time, the handwritten manuscript of the 1891 novel shows a writer struggling with Victorian morality

The Guardian

The family lost all Wilde’s published works when his manuscripts were seized by bailiffs in 1895 — the year Wilde was imprisoned for gross indecency. In court lawyers for the Marquess of Queensberry cross-examined Wilde on the passages in Lippincott’s that he had removed from the novel, citing his story as an “immoral and obscene work.”

“You could say that paragraph on page 147 did terrific harm to his family, which he regretted enormously,” said Holland. “It blighted my father’s early life.”

Vyvyan was eight when Wilde was imprisoned. The writer was never allowed to see either of his sons again and their mother changed their surname. “But people knew,” Holland added.

The manuscript is now owned by The Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Reading a facsimile copy is almost, Holland says, like looking over Wilde’s shoulder as he writes. “Seeing how he constructs his prose is a wonderful thing. It gives you a direct connection to Wilde as a writer.”

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