As the public interest in Oscar Wilde grew, and the lies about him multiplied, Vyvyan Holland, Wilde's son, decided to write his own account of the "Oscar Wilde scandal" and its aftermath. The first publication of Son of Oscar Wilde in 1954 was a daring endeavor, considering that homosexuality remained a crime in England at that time, and his father had been convicted of that crime.
Now available with a new Foreword by Merlin Holland, Vyvyan Holland's son, this memoir--which Vyvyan Holland described as "not a very amusing or entertaining story"--reveals Oscar Wilde as a much-loved though often absent member of the family. Focusing on the scandal from the point of view of a small boy, it dramatically portrays how the family dealt with Oscar's persecution, and after his death, attempted to deny that he ever lived by taking the extreme measure of changing the sons' names from Wilde to Holland. Vyvyan Holland describes in detail his early happy years followed by the exile and his years in Germany and Monaco, his return to England and his adolescent years, and his decision as a mature adult to lay to rest the bitter memory of his early years by recording them for posterity.
This edition also contains 33 of Oscar Wilde's letters to friends; a reminiscence of Wilde by W.W. Ward; some prose poems by Wilde; letters from Lord Alfred Douglas to Vyvyan Holland; and several contemporary newspaper reports of events during and after the Oscar Wilde affair. A tragic story of prejudice, fear, and much sadness, this memoir reveals one boy's ability to survive such extreme cruelty and suffering.