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The Marquess of QueensberryWilde's Nemesis$
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Linda Stratmann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300173802

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300173802.001.0001

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Son and Heir

Son and Heir

(p.1) Chapter 1 Son and Heir
The Marquess of Queensberry

Linda Stratmann

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the life and actions of John Sholto Douglas, ninth Marquess of Queensberry, who has a unique and unfortunate place in the history of literature. He is almost universally reviled as the man who precipitated the tragic downfall of Oscar Wilde. The ultimate though not exclusive responsibility for Wilde's downfall must be borne by Wilde, who committed a criminal offense, had the man who exposed him put on trial for libel, and then lied in the witness box. Wilde's well-deserved rehabilitation as a literary genius and a good, if not flawless, human being has led to the demonizing of his accuser, whose kindest critics suggest that he might not have been wholly responsible for his actions, the victim of a tainted inheritance from his Douglas forebears.

Keywords:   Queensberry, John Sholto Douglas, history of literature, Oscar Wilde

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