A Year in Books/Day 105: Truly Wilde

  • Title: Truly Wilde The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar’s Unusual Niece
  • Author: Joan Schenkar
  • Year Published: 2000 (Basic Books)
  • Year Purchased: 2002/2003
  • Source: Edward R. Hamilton Bookseller Company
  • About: Only five when her famous uncle died, as an adult she blossomed into the spitting, female image of Oscar. She was an It Girl of epic proportions, with a life and end even more complicated than his. If she never approached his creative genius, it’s largely due to the wanton neglect of her talent (which those who knew her insisted she had an excess of) in favour of fast, impulsive living. She was a scintillating, thorny, frank and witty woman: she would have made an ideal Wilde heroine. Instead, hers was a real-life tragedy.
  • Motivation: The Wildean pedigree + a decidedly strange, strong woman in her own right=a heady combination.
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 51: “A single photograph of Dolly’s mother, Lily Wilde, with her infant daughter has survived the dissolution of the Wilde family. It is notable both for the attractiveness of its two subjects and for the fact that Dolly’s father, Willie Wilde, though ‘out of the picture’, signed it, dated it, labelled its contents, and dedicated it, inscribing himself for posterity on what is the only image of the ‘second’ Wilde family.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10
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