Friday, 4 November 2011

Constance by Franny Moyle

Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar WildeConstance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde by Franny Moyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not sure what to think about this one. It's difficult to judge the quality of the writing etc because appreciation of the book is so intimately wound up in one's impression of the subject of the book, Constance Wilde and by association, Oscar.

I found it a compelling read, but it just made me realise how alien the life of these middle/upper class Victorians is to me. I feel sorry for Constance, for a lot of the things that happened to her, and the disaster Oscar inflicted on her... but she's also an infuriating character herself some of the time. She has good qualities, and some not so good ones, like anybody, and of course she's very much a product of her times and her class.

Leaves me wondering how her later life would have turned out if Bosie Douglas had been run over by a horse and cart, and Oscar had been, well, just a little bit less Oscar.

But we'll never know...

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