Douglas was born at Ham Hill House in Worcestershire, the third son of John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry and his first wife, Sibyl née Montgomery. He was his mother's favourite child; she called him Bosie (a derivative of Boysie), a nickname which stuck for the rest of his life.
Douglas was educated at Winchester College (1884–88) and at Magdalen College, Oxford (1889–93), which he left without obtaining a degree. At Oxford, he edited an undergraduate journal The Spirit Lamp (1892-3), an activity that intensified the constant conflict between him and his father. Their relationship had always been a strained one and during the Queensberry-Wilde feud, Douglas sided with Wilde, even encouraging him to prosecute his own father for libel. In 1893, Douglas had a brief affair with George Ives.
In 1860, Douglas's grandfather, the 8th Marquess of Queensberry, had died in what was reported as a shooting accident, but his death was widely believed to have been suicide. In 1862, his widowed grandmother, Lady Queensberry, converted to Roman Catholicism and took her children to live in Paris.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. In the summer of 1891, Oscar met Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, the third son of the Marquis of Queensberry. Bosie was well acquainted with Oscar's novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray and was an undergraduate at Oxford. They soon became lovers and were inseparable until Wilde's arrest four years later.
Apart from the violent death of his grandfather, there were other tragedies in Douglas's family. One of his uncles, Lord James Douglas, was deeply attached to his twin sister 'Florrie' and was heartbroken when she married. In 1885, he tried to abduct a young girl, and after that became ever more manic. In 1888, Lord James married, but this proved disastrous. Separated from Florrie, James drank himself into a deep depression, and in 1891 committed suicide by cutting his throat. Another of his uncles, Lord Francis Douglas (1847–1865) had died in a climbing accident on the Matterhorn, while his uncle Lord Archibald Edward Douglas (1850–1938) became a clergyman. (Alfred Douglas's only child was in turn to go mad, and died in a mental hospital.)
Alfred Douglas's aunt, Lord James's twin Lady Florence Douglas (1855–1905), was an author, war correspondent for the Morning Post during the First Boer War, and a feminist. In 1890, she published a novel, Gloriana, or the Revolution of 1900, in which women's suffrage is achieved after a woman posing as a man named Hector l'Estrange is elected to the House of Commons. The character l'Estrange is clearly based on Oscar Wilde.
In 1891, Douglas met Oscar Wilde; although the playwright was married with two sons, they soon began an affair. In 1894, the Robert Hichens novel The Green Carnation was published. Said to be a roman a clef based on the relationship of Wilde and Douglas, it would be one of the texts used against Wilde during his trials in 1895.
Douglas, known to his friends as 'Bosie', has been described as spoiled, reckless, insolent and extravagant. He would spend money on boys and gambling and expected Wilde to contribute to his tastes. They often argued and broke up, but would also always reconcile.
Douglas had praised Wilde's play Salome in the Oxford magazine, The Spirit Lamp, of which he was editor (and used as a covert means of gaining acceptance for homosexuality). Wilde had originally written Salomé in French, and in 1893 he commissioned Douglas to translate it into English. Douglas's French was very poor and his translation was highly criticised: a passage that goes "On ne doit regarder que dans les miroirs" (French for "One should only look in mirrors") was translated as "One must not look at mirrors". Douglas's temper would not accept Wilde's criticism and he claimed that the errors were really in Wilde's original play. This led to a hiatus in the relationship and a row between the two men, with angry messages being exchanged and even the involvement of the publisher John Lane and the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley when they themselves objected to Douglas's work. Beardsley complained to Robbie Ross: "For one week the numbers of telegraph and messenger boys who came to the door was simply scandalous". Wilde redid much of the translation himself, but, in a gesture of reconciliation, suggested that Douglas be dedicated as the translator rather than them sharing their names on the title-page. Accepting this, Douglas, in his vanity, compared a dedication to sharing the title-page as "the difference between a tribute of admiration from an artist and a receipt from a tradesman."
On another occasion, while staying together in Brighton, Douglas fell ill with influenza and was nursed back to health by Wilde, but failed to return the favour when Wilde fell ill as well. Instead Douglas moved to the Grand Hotel and, on Wilde's 40th birthday, sent him a letter saying that he had charged him the bill. Douglas also gave his old clothes to male prostitutes, but failed to remove incriminating letters exchanged between him and Wilde, which were then used for blackmail.
Alfred's father, the Marquess of Queensberry, quickly suspected the liaison to be more than a friendship. He sent his son a letter, attacking him for leaving Oxford without a degree and failing to take up a proper career, such as a civil servant or lawyer. He threatened to "disown [Alfred] and stop all money supplies". Alfred responded with a telegram stating: "What a funny little man you are".
Queensberry was infuriated by this attitude. In his next letter he threatened his son with a "thrashing" and accused him of being "crazy". He also threatened to "make a public scandal in a way you little dream of" if he continued his relationship with Wilde.
Queensberry was well known for his temper and threatening to beat people with a horsewhip. Alfred sent his father a postcard stating "I detest you" and making it clear that he would take Wilde's side in a fight between him and the Marquess, "with a loaded revolver".
In answer Queensberry wrote to Alfred (whom he addressed as "You miserable creature") that he had divorced Alfred's mother in order not to "run the risk of bringing more creatures into the world like yourself" and that, when Alfred was a baby, "I cried over you the bitterest tears a man ever shed, that I had brought such a creature into the world, and unwittingly committed such a crime... You must be demented".
When Douglas' eldest brother, Lord Drumlanrig, heir to the marquessate of Queensberry, died in a suspicious hunting accident in October 1894, rumours circulated that Drumlanrig had been having a homosexual relationship with the Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery. The elder Queensberry thus embarked on a campaign to save his other son, and began a public persecution of Wilde. Publicly, Wilde had been flamboyant, and his actions made the public suspicious even before the trial. He and a minder confronted the playwright in his own home; later, Queensberry planned to throw rotten vegetables at Wilde during the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest, but, forewarned of this, the playwright was able to deny him access to the theatre.
Queensberry then publicly insulted Wilde by leaving, at the latter's club, a visiting card on which he had written: "For Oscar Wilde posing as a somdomite"–a misspelling of "sodomite." The wording is in dispute – the handwriting is unclear – although Hyde reports it as this. According to Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson, it is more likely "Posing somdomite," while Queensberry himself claimed it to be "Posing as somdomite." Holland suggests that this wording ("posing [as] ...") would have been easier to defend in court.
In response to this card, and with Douglas's avid support, but against the advice of friends such as Robbie Ross, Frank Harris, and George Bernard Shaw, Wilde had Queensberry arrested and charged with criminal libel in a private prosecution, as sodomy was then a crime. Several highly suggestive erotic letters that Wilde had written to Douglas were introduced into evidence; he claimed that they were works of art. Wilde was closely questioned about the homoerotic themes in The Picture of Dorian Gray and in The Chameleon, a single-issue magazine published by Douglas to which he had contributed a short article. Queensberry's lawyer portrayed Wilde as a vicious older man who habitually preyed upon naive young boys and seduced them into a life of homosexuality with extravagant gifts and promises of a glamorous lifestyle.
Queensberry's attorney announced in court that he had located several male prostitutes who were to testify that they had had sex with Wilde. Wilde then dropped the libel charge, on his lawyers' advice, as a conviction was very unlikely if the libel were demonstrated in court to be true. Based on the evidence raised during the case, Wilde was arrested the next day and charged with committing sodomy and "gross indecency", a vague charge which covered all homosexual acts other than sodomy.
Douglas's 1892 poem Two Loves, which was used against Wilde at the latter's trial, ends with the famous line that refers to homosexuality as the love that dare not speak its name. Wilde gave an eloquent but counterproductive explanation of the nature of this love on the witness stand. The trial resulted in a hung jury.
In 1895, when during his trials Wilde was released on bail, Douglas's cousin Sholto Johnstone Douglas stood surety for £500 of the bail money.
The prosecutor opted to retry the case. Wilde was convicted on 25 May 1895 and sentenced to two years' hard labour, first at Pentonville, then Wandsworth, then famously in Reading Gaol. Douglas was forced into exile in Europe.
While in prison, Wilde wrote Douglas a very long and critical letter entitled De Profundis, describing exactly what he felt about him, which Wilde was not permitted to send, but which may or may not have been sent to Douglas after Wilde's release.
Following Wilde's release (19 May 1897), the two reunited in August at Rouen, but stayed together only a few months owing to personal differences and the various pressures on them.
This meeting was disapproved of by the friends and families of both men. During the later part of 1897, Wilde and Douglas lived together in Rouen, but for financial pressures and other personal reasons, they separated. Wilde lived the remainder of his life primarily in Paris, and Douglas returned to England in late 1898.
The period when the two men lived in Rouen would later become quite controversial. Wilde claimed that Douglas had offered a home, but had no funds or ideas. When Douglas eventually did gain funds from his late father's estate, he refused to grant Wilde a permanent allowance, although he did give him occasional handouts. When Wilde died in 1900, he was still officially bankrupt and relatively impoverished. Douglas served as chief mourner, although there reportedly was an altercation at the gravesite between him and Robbie Ross. This struggle would preview the later litigations between the two former lovers of Oscar Wilde.
After Wilde's death, Douglas established a close friendship with Olive Eleanor Custance, an heiress and poet. They married on 4 March 1902 and had one son, Raymond Wilfred Sholto Douglas, born on 17 November 1902.
More than a decade after Wilde's death, with the release of suppressed portions of Wilde's De Profundis letter in 1912, Douglas turned against his former friend, whose homosexuality he grew to condemn. He was a defence witness in the libel case brought by Maud Allan against Noel Pemberton Billing in 1918. Billing had accused Allan, who was performing Wilde's play Salome, of being part of a homosexual conspiracy to undermine the war effort. Douglas also contributed to Billing's journal Vigilante as part of his campaign against Robbie Ross. He had written a poem referring to Margot Asquith "bound with Lesbian fillets" while her husband Herbert, the Prime Minister, gave money to Ross. During the trial he described Wilde as "the greatest force for evil that has appeared in Europe during the last three hundred and fifty years". Douglas added that he intensely regretted having met Wilde, and having helped him with the translation of Salome, which he described as "a most pernicious and abominable piece of work".
Douglas started his "litigious and libellous career" by obtaining an apology and fifty guineas each from the Oxford and Cambridge university magazines Isis and Cambridge for defamatory references to him in an article on Wilde.
He was a plaintiff and defendant in several trials for civil or criminal libel. In 1913 he accused Arthur Ransome of libelling him in his book Oscar Wilde: A Critical Study. He saw this trial as a weapon against his enemy Ross, not understanding that Ross would not be called to give evidence. In a similar way he had not appreciated the fact that his father's character would not be an issue when he urged Wilde to sue back in 1895. The court found in Ransome's favour. Ransome did, however, remove the offending passages from the 2nd edition of his book.
In the most noted case, brought by the Crown on Winston Churchill's behalf in 1923, Douglas was found guilty of libelling Churchill and was sentenced to six months in prison. Churchill had been accused as cabinet minister, of falsifying an official report on the naval Battle of Jutland in 1916 when, although suffering losses, the Royal Navy drove the German battle fleet off the high seas. Churchill was said to have reported that the British navy had in fact, been defeated; the motive was supposed to be that when this news was flashed, the prices of British securities would tumble on the world's stock exchanges, allowing a group of named Jewish financiers to snap them up cheaply. Churchill's reward was said to be a houseful of furniture, valued at £40,000. The allegations were made by Lord Alfred Douglas in a journal called Plain English and later at a public meeting in London. A false report of a crushing British naval defeat had indeed been planted in the New York press by German interests but, by this time (following the failure of his Dardanelles campaign), Churchill was not connected in any way with the Admiralty. As the attorney-general stated in court, on Churchill's behalf, there was no plot, no phoney communiqué, no stock market raid and no present of fine furniture.
In 1924, while in prison, Douglas, in an ironic echo of Wilde's composition of De Profundis (Latin for "From the Depths") during his incarceration, wrote his last major poetic work, In Excelsis (literally, "In the highest"), which contains 17 cantos. Since the prison authorities would not allow Douglas to take the manuscript with him when he was released, he had to rewrite the entire work from memory. Douglas maintained that his health never recovered from his harsh prison ordeal, which included sleeping on a plank bed without a mattress.
In 1911, Douglas embraced Roman Catholicism, as Oscar Wilde had also done earlier.
Following his own incarceration in prison in 1924, Douglas's feelings toward Oscar Wilde began to soften considerably. He said in Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up that “Sometimes a sin is also a crime (for example, a murder or theft) but this is not the case with homosexuality, any more than with adultery”.
Throughout the 1930s and until his death, Douglas maintained correspondences with many people, including Marie Stopes and George Bernard Shaw. Anthony Wynn wrote the play Bernard and Bosie: A Most Unlikely Friendship based on the letters between Shaw and Douglas. One of Douglas's final public appearances was his well-received lecture to the Royal Society of Literature on 2 September 1943, entitled The Principles of Poetry, which was published in an edition of 1,000 copies. He attacked the poetry of T. S. Eliot, and the talk was praised by Arthur Quiller-Couch and Augustus John.
Douglas's only child, Raymond, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1927, at the age of 24, and entered St Andrew's Hospital, a mental institution. He was decertified and discharged after five years, but suffered a subsequent breakdown and returned to the hospital. When his mother, Olive Douglas, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 67, Raymond was able to attend her funeral and in June he was again decertified. However, his conduct rapidly deteriorated and he returned to St Andrew's in November where he stayed until his death on 10 October 1964. He had never married.
Douglas died of congestive heart failure at Lancing in West Sussex on 20 March 1945 at the age of 74. He was buried on 23 March at the Franciscan Monastery, Crawley, West Sussex, where he is interred alongside his mother, Sibyl, Marchioness of Queensberry, who died on 31 October 1935 at the age of 91. A single gravestone covers them both. The elderly Douglas, living in reduced circumstances in Hove in the 1940s, is mentioned in the diaries of Henry "Chips" Channon and the first autobiography of Sir Donald Sinden, both of whom attended his funeral.
Douglas published several volumes of poetry; two books about his relationship with Wilde, Oscar Wilde and Myself (1914; largely ghostwritten by T.W.H. Crosland, the assistant editor of The Academy and later repudiated by Douglas), Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up (1940); and a memoir, The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas (1931).
Douglas also was the editor of a literary journal, The Academy, from 1907 to 1910, and during this time he had an affair with artist Romaine Brooks, who was also bisexual (the main love of her life, Natalie Clifford Barney, also had an affair with Wilde's niece Dorothy).
There are six biographies of Douglas. The earlier ones by Braybrooke and Freeman were not allowed to quote from Douglas’s copyright work, and De Profundis was unpublished. Later biographies were by Rupert Croft-Cooke, H. Montgomery Hyde (who also wrote about Oscar Wilde), Douglas Murray (who describes Braybrooke’s biography as "a rehash and exaggeration of Douglas’s book", i.e. his autobiography). The most recent is Alfred Douglas: A Poet's Life and His Finest Work by Caspar Wintermans, from Peter Owen Publishers in 2007.
Olive Eleanor Custance (7 February 1874 – 12 February 1944) was a British poet. She was part of the aesthetic movement of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book. (P: Atelier George Charles Beresford, London. Olive Eleanor Custance, 1902)
She was born at 12 John Street, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, in London, the only daughter and heiress of Colonel Frederick Custance, who was a wealthy and distinguished soldier in the British army.
Custance was bisexual. In 1901 she became involved in a lesbian relationship with writer Natalie Clifford Barney in Paris, which Barney later included in her memoirs. Custance then became engaged to George Montagu, but ran away and married Lord Alfred Douglas instead. Her father did not approve of Douglas, and the two had eloped to avoid having problems. They married on 4 March 1902. They had one child, Raymond Wilfred Sholto Douglas, born on 17 November 1902. The marriage was stormy, after Douglas became a Catholic in 1911. They separated in 1913, lived together for a time in the 1920s after Olive also converted, and then lived apart after she gave up Catholicism.
Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945), nicknamed Bosie, was a British author, poet and translator, better known as the intimate friend and lover of the writer Oscar Wilde. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme, though he tended, later in life, to distance himself from both Wilde's influence and his own role as a Uranian poet.
Their only child, Raymond, showed signs of instability in his youth. For a time he served in the army, but was confined to mental institutions for long periods. This further strained the marriage, which by the end of the 1920s was all but over, despite the fact that they never divorced. Custance died in 1944, her husband in 1945. Raymond survived to the age of 61; after several lengthy episodes of mental instability throughout his lifetime, he died unmarried on 10 October 1965.
Oscar Wilde's (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) rich and dramatic portrayals of the human condition came during the height of the prosperity that swept through London in the Victorian Era of the late 19th century. At a time when all citizens of Britain were finally able to embrace literature the wealthy and educated could only once afford, Wilde wrote many short stories, plays and poems that continue to inspire millions around the world. (Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony)
By the time William Wilde, Oscar’s father, was 28, he had graduated as a doctor, completed a voyage to Madeira, Teneriffe, North Africa and the Middle East, studied at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, written two books and been appointed medical advisor to the Irish Census of 1841. When the medical statistics were published two years later they contained data which had not been collected in any other country at the time, and as a result, William became the Assistant Commissioner to the 1851 Census. He held the same position for the two succeeding Censuses and, in 1864, he was knighted for his work on them. When William opened a Dublin practice specializing in ear and eye diseases, he felt he should make some provision for the free treatment of the city's poor population. In 1844, he founded St. Mark's Ophthalmic Hospital, built entirely at his own expense.
Before he married, William fathered three children. Henry Wilson was born in 1838, Emily in 1847 and Mary in 1849. To William's credit, he provided financial support for all of them. He paid for Henry's education and medical studies, eventually hiring him into St. Mark's Hospital as an assistant. Sadly, Mary and Emily, who were raised by William's brother, both died in a fire at the ages of 22 and 24.
Oscar's mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, first gained attention in 1846 when she began writing revolutionary poems under the pseudonym "Speranza" for a weekly Irish newspaper, The Nation. In 1848, as the country's famine worsened and the Year of Revolution took hold of Europe, the newspaper offices were raided and had to close. Jane, who was also a gifted linguist with working knowledge of the major European languages, went on to translate Wilhelm Meinhold's gothic horror novel “Sidonia the Sorceress.” Oscar would later read the translation with relish, and draw on it for the darker elements of his own work.
Jane's first child, William "Willie" Charles Kingsbury, was born on September 26, 1852 and her second, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie, on October 16, 1854. The daughter she had longed for, Isola Emily Francesca, was delivered on April 2, 1857. Ten years later, however, Emily died from a sudden fever. Oscar was profoundly affected by the loss of his sister, and for his lifetime he carried a lock of her hair sealed in a decorated envelope.
Willie and Oscar attended the Portora Royal School at Enniskillen, where Oscar excelled at studying the classics, taking top prize his last two years, and also earning a second prize in drawing. In 1871, Oscar was awarded the Royal School Scholarship to attend Trinity College in Dublin. Again, he did particularly well in his classics courses, placing first in his examinations in 1872 and earning the highest honor the college could bestow on an undergraduate, a Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, Oscar crowned his successes at Trinity with two final achievements. He won the college's Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship scholarship to Magdalen College in Oxford.
Oscar's father died on April 19, 1876, leaving the family financially strapped. Henry, William's eldest son, paid the mortgage on the family's house and supported them until his sudden death in 1877. Meanwhile, Oscar continued to do well at Oxford. He was awarded the Newdigate prize for his poem, “Ravenna,” and a First Class in both his "Mods" and "Greats" by his examiners. After graduation, Oscar moved to London to live with his friend Frank Miles, a popular high society portrait painter. In 1881, he published his first collection of poetry. “Poems” received mixed reviews by critics, but helped to move Oscar's writing career along.
In December 1881, Oscar sailed for New York to travel across the United States and deliver a series of lectures on aesthetics. The 50-lecture tour was originally scheduled to last four months, but stretched to nearly a year, with over 140 lectures given in 260 days. In between lectures he made time to meet with Henry Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Walt Whitman. He also arranged for his play, “Vera,” to be staged in New York the following year. When he returned from America, Oscar spent three months in Paris writing a blank-verse tragedy that had been commissioned by the actress Mary Anderson. When he sent it to her, however, she turned it down. He then set off on a lecture tour of Britain and Ireland.
On May 29, 1884, Oscar married Constance Lloyd. Constance was four years younger than Oscar and the daughter of a prominent barrister who died when she was 16. She was well-read, spoke several European languages and had an outspoken, independent mind. Oscar and Constance had two sons in quick succession, Cyril in 1885 and Vyvyan in 1886. With a family to support, Oscar accepted a job revitalizing the Woman's World magazine, where he worked from 1887-1889. The next six years were to become the most creative period of his life. He published two collections of children's stories, “The Happy Prince and Other Tales” (1888), and “The House of Pomegranates” (1892). His first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published in an American magazine in 1890 to a storm of critical protest. He expanded the story and had it published in book form the following year. Its implied homoerotic theme was considered very immoral by the Victorians and played a considerable part in his later legal trials. Oscar's first play, “Lady Windermere's Fan,” opened in February 1892. Its financial and critical success prompted him to continue to write for the theater. His subsequent plays included “A Woman of No Importance” (1893), “An Ideal Husband” (1895), and “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1895). These plays were all highly acclaimed and firmly established Oscar as a playwright.
In the summer of 1891, Oscar met Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, the third son of the Marquis of Queensberry. Bosie was well acquainted with Oscar's novel “Dorian Gray” and was an undergraduate at Oxford. They soon became lovers and were inseparable until Wilde's arrest four years later. In April 1895, Oscar sued Bosie's father for libel as the Marquis had accused him of homosexuality. Oscar withdrew his case but was himself arrested and convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years hard labor. Constance took the children to Switzerland and reverted to an old family name, “Holland.”
Upon his release, Oscar wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” a response to the agony he experienced in prison. It was published shortly before Constance's death in 1898. He and Bosie reunited briefly, but Oscar mostly spent the last three years of his life wandering Europe, staying with friends and living in cheap hotels. Sadly, he was unable to rekindle his creative fires. When a recurrent ear infection became serious several years later, meningitis set in, and Oscar Wilde died on November 30, 1900.
Numerous books and articles have been written on Oscar Wilde, reflecting on the life and contributions of this unconventional author since his death over a hundred years ago. A celebrity in his own time, Wilde’s indelible influence will remain as strong as ever and keep audiences captivated in perpetuity.
Oscar Wilde wrote De Profundis while jailed for crimes against nature, or whatever trumped up charges they came up with against him. In much of it he rails against Lord Alfred Douglas; and who can blame him under the circumstances? But underneath all the accusation there's a tone of acceptance of the vicissitudes of one's life that I find truly stunning. This is my favorite of all of Mr. Wilde's works - although, I've been told by my friend Robert Patrick, author of the play Kennedy's Children, that reading a play requires a certain talent- and I've never been very good at play reading. --Aaron Fricke
Dorian’s beauty is both a blessing and a curse, but it was the artist who intrigued me the most. Basil adores Dorian and pleads with Lord Wotton not to ruin him. I was in high school when I read The Picture of Dorian Gray and Basil’s sort of hopeless crush was very familiar to me, as was its ultimate result in misery -- though none of my crushes ever ended in death! --Dianne Fox
Oh what sinister fun! A morality tale wrapped up in a story dripping with homoeroticism and hedonism. I can’t imagine how much pleasure Wilde had when he wrote this story and how much went on his head that never actually made it onto the page as a result of the laws of the time. This luscious, lusty Faustian tale is so dark and delicious; discreet when it has to be, suggestive when it wants to be. And the picture I have of Dorian Gray in my mind is that of the most beautiful man on earth—yes, we’re all suckers for a bad boy, aren’t we! --Geoffrey Knight
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Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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