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Download Oscar Wilde Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Oscar Wilde Audiobook, by Frank Harris Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,377 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frank Harris Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781455173501
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Frank Harris, a journalist and editor, delighted in Oscar Wilde’s genial wit and self-assurance. Wilde’s verbal charms evoked Harris’ financial and emotional support when Victorian England disdained the playwright for his paganism and imprisoned him for “homosexual offenses.” Harris relates the proceedings of Wilde’s trial and the malice that sent him to France after release from prison.

Later years found Harris increasingly frustrated with Wilde, as the playwright’s humor gave way to bitterness and self-pity. Repeatedly, Harris urged the author of The Importance of Being Earnest to continue to write. His pleas were met with excuses, indolence, and incessant requests for money. Harris’ frustration peaked when he bought an idea for a play from Wilde, then learned that Wilde had already sold the idea to several others.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best life of Wilde.”

    George Bernard Shaw

  • “The best biography ever written by an American.”

    H.L. Mencken

  • “Only a man of courage could have written it.  It will endure side by side with Oscar Wilde.”

    New Republic

  • “Whitfield’s delivery is…easy on the ear.”

    Audiofile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Spano | 2/17/2014

    " Thorough. Excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce Reiter | 2/4/2014

    " I read this biography because of an upcoming trip to Ireland. It is excellent and complete. The missing star in my rating is because it is almost six hundred pages in length and not all of the French is translated, a bummer for those of us who do not read the language. It is an easy read of a complex man with philosophies described and discussed in detail. I am grateful that I did not live in those times although the odds of moving in such elitist circles are unimaginable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenneth | 1/16/2014

    " Wonderful book of the sometimes tragic life of one of literature's most brillant characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia James | 1/5/2014

    " "Biography lends to death a new terror." -Oscar Wilde "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 12/24/2013

    " Great - a must for anyone interested in Oscar Wilde. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 12/10/2013

    " I love this book, its interesting and symapthetic for Oscar and covers his life well before and after his infamy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva Klaess | 11/30/2013

    " I was a gay man when I was 17 years old, I swear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 11/30/2013

    " Great bio of a most interesting (understatement) character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clifton | 11/26/2013

    " There are some factual errors in this book, which Ellmann wrote shortly before he died (a review of the scholarship can uncover these). Nevertheless, it is an indispensable biography for all Wilde scholars and those who simply love him as a writer and wit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 11/21/2013

    " An exemplary biography - elegantly told, scrupulously researched, detailed, compassionate and complete. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vaughnda Johnson | 11/15/2013

    " A little too much detail for me. I felt like if the author found Oscar's grocery list he'd include it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 10/29/2013

    " A great read and an essential life, but depressingly insistent in its attempts to enlist Wilde's writing for a kind of middlebrow acceptability, and pathetic on his sexuality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/13/2013

    " like everyone says, the definitive biography of O.W. but the syphillis thing? COME ON!! but i like this book b/c it gives so many details and it so well written and researched, except for the syphillis thing, as i said before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 7/25/2013

    " A meticulously researched book, a true lover of Wilde. A hard read at times because it seems that you must be very familiar with Wilde's work, even more obscure pieces, and his contemporaries. But he writes about the tragedy of Wilde's unjust imprisonment with great sensitivity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 minnie | 6/30/2013

    " Read this a long while ago, but I remember it being an informative and intelligent biography, without being too academic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 2/26/2013

    " oscar is my favorite geigh evar. we have the same birthday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela Kingston | 12/30/2012

    " The only biography - quite simply a masterpiece. (Except for the unfortunate photograph of 'Oscar' in drag, mistakenly identified by Ellmann.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxanne | 4/3/2012

    " my god footnotes on footnotes "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Veronica | 3/12/2012

    " It's an amazing biography "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Djrmel | 11/8/2011

    " Greatly detailed, perhaps a little romantisized, and my go-to book for almost anything Wildean. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Farrell | 8/23/2011

    " this actually is a lifechanging book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J. Walker | 8/8/2011

    " My second favorite literary biography of all time, second only to Sybill Bedford's biography of Aldous Huxley. This is also the saddest literary life I've ever read, and yet remains over a century later a landmrk in literary and civil rights history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/19/2011

    " I learned a lot. I found the whole thing fascinating. I could have done without some of the really minor details, but overall, I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry Bonner | 1/9/2011

    " This biography is worth every minute. When finished, you will understand Oscar Wilde the man, and you will mourn for him. That's about the best recommendation I can write. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie | 10/22/2010

    " I'm reading this for a class so been putting alot of extra effort into understanding but I with it was more blunt sometimes:/ that way I always knew what he was trying to say. "

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About the Author

Frank Harris (1856–1931) was an author, editor, journalist, and publisher best remembered for his erotic memoir, My Life and Loves, which was banned in countries around the world for its sexual explicitness.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.