Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde, By Franny Moyle

A good wife emerges from the shadows

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The Independent Culture

Despite his homosexuality, Oscar Wilde was devoted to his wife, Constance, and their life together was for years a happy one.

But his dalliances with other men – which led to his imprisonment in 1895 – eventually broke them apart, and Constance fled from London to Germany with their two children. She succumbed to illness soon afterwards, aged just 39.

Franny Moyle tells this sad story with sensitivity. But more than just a superb biography, this is an exemplary work of feminist history. Moyle shows that Constance was an accomplished writer of children's books and an influential voice in progressive politics, and in doing so casts light on a remarkable woman who has for too long been overshadowed by her husband.