The Marquess of Queensberry
By Linda Stratmann
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300173802, 336pp.)
Publication Date: May 13, 2013
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The Marquess of Queensberry is as famous for his role in the downfall of one of our greatest literary geniuses as he was for helping establish the rules for modern-day boxing. The trial and two-year imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, lover of Queensberry’s son, Lord Alfred Douglas, remains one of literary history’s great tragedies. However, Linda Stratmann's riveting biography of the Marquess paints a far more complex picture by drawing on new sources and unpublished letters. Throughout his life, Queensberry was emotionally damaged by a series of tragedies, and the events of the Wilde affair—told for the first time from the Marquess’s perspective—were directly linked to Queensberry’s personal crises. Through the retelling of pivotal events from Queensberry’s life—the death of his brother on the Matterhorn and his fruitless search for the body; the suicides of his father, brother, and eldest son—the book reveals a well-meaning man often stricken with a grief he found hard to express, who deserves our compassion.
Linda Stratmann is the author of eleven books, including Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion, Notorious Blasted Rascal, and Greater London Murders. She lives in London.
“This portrait presents compelling new evidence of Queensbury’s humanity.”—Kirkus
"Enthralling...Far from evil, Queensbury as Stratmann presents him is definitely sympathetic, perhaps even admirable."—Booklist, starred review