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Oscar Wilde's Last Stand

A tale of Decadence, Conspiracy and the First World War.

In 1918 the "Vigilante" newspaper claimed that the German Secret Service held a book containing the names of 47,000 British establishment members who were sexual perverts. It was claimed Britain was losing the war because the Germans were blackmailing these figures and thereby sapping the country's strength. The "Vigilante" was exploiting popular belief that Britain had become a decadent state still in thrall to the perverted cult of Oscar Wilde. The extreme right wing politics of the newspaper's publisher were becoming dangerously popular and in the sensational libel trial that followed many high society members were drawn in. Wilde's devoted "friend" Robbie Ross and his one time lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, both became embroiled in the bitter battle over Wilde's reputation. It is a tale of a Home Front society, telling of transvestites in the trenches, of drug clubs in London, and of the roots of British fascism, discerning the seeds of intolerance which would inform the troubled years to come.


Mr Philip Hoare | talks


Date and Time:

28 April 2010 at 7:30 pm


1 hour



The Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place
020 8960 7172

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Organised by:

Sohemian Society
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Available from:

From door on evening.

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