PREVIEW: ‘Oscar Wilde’s Last Chance: The Dreyfus Connection’

Besi Besemar January 19, 2015

In Oscar Wilde’s Last Chance: The Dreyfus Connection, historian and biographer Mark Hichens sheds light on one of the most interesting public mysteries of all time.

Oscar Wilde

OSCAR WILDE came out of prison a broken man. There seemed no hope of reviving his spirit, of finding the spark that would once again set his genius ablaze.

Yet when he arrived in Paris in 1898 an extraordinary opportunity presented itself.  The city, the whole world of politics, fashion and society was in the grip of the Dreyfus Affair, the scandalous attempt to frame a Jewish army officer on charges of treason. One of Wilde’s closest friends had been told the true secret of the plot and passed the information to Wilde in the hope of enlisting his scintillating gifts in its exposure.

How this scheme backfired, how Wilde not only misplayed his hand but actually became the friend of the arch-villain of the piece, with results at first devastating to Dreyfus but ultimately to his persecutors, is the theme of this fascinating book, first published in 1999 and now reissued in paperback for the first time.

“Hichens writes with clarity, pace, wisdom and dry humour.” – The Spectator

Oscar Wilde’s Last Chance: The Dreyfus Connection by Mark Hichens is published in paperback by Book Guild Publishing. Price: £9.99.

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