This is for the most part a level-headed, fair and comprehensive biography of the Victorian enfant terrible, with a thorough and stimulating appraisal of his work. Vain egomaniac, pagan amoralist, brilliant wit and poseur -- a tragic history, frequently misrepresented. His early life, inheritance, schooling, Hellenic leanings, the unfortunate trip to America, his marriage, literary development -- and the last ten years of his life which saw his greatest output and complete moral degeneration culminating in the famous trial. There is no attempt to deny these facets of his character, but the unwarranted libels are refuted or given their proper place... Excellent study of the literary background, which comprises about half the book. Not a book for those seeking a sensational expose, but a scholarly, unbiassed and comprehensive piece of work.