Son and Heir
Son and Heir
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.
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