After William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde is the most quoted of writers. His epigrams turned conventions upside down and are part of our cultural inheritance. His personality defined an era. Wilde's rise to prominence as a playwright of high comedy, and his ego-driven fall from grace continue to fascinate. In this book, Barbara Belford has written a new life of Wilde for a new generation of readers. Her Wilde is not the tragic figure, the martyr or the self-destructive fop. She sees his life not in terms of its tragic end, but as largely successful and joyous, and celebrates his work from that more cheerful prospect.