The Jacob Epstein sculpture that now marks Wilde's grave at Père Lachaise. From the Library of Congress.
In this week's issue of The New Yorker, I have an essay on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. I've given a quick overview of Wilde's legendary life and recounted the charged history of his revisions to Dorian Gray, which Harvard University Press recently published in an "uncensored" edition, restoring cuts that were made prior to the initial publication in Lippincott's magazine. In a supplementary blog post at the New Yorker site, I've listed the various versions of the tale and commented briefly on film, opera, and comic-book adaptations.
Back in 2000 I reviewed a biography of Alfred Douglas, Wilde's odious lover. Let's hope that someone somewhere is working on a biography of perhaps the oddest member of the very odd Douglas line: Sholto Douglas, whose random life can be glimpsed in the Times piece below (click to enlarge). Connoisseurs of coincidence will note that the name Sholto appears in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four, which was commissioned at the same dinner that elicited Dorian Gray.