Aesthete, dandy, poet, dramatist and philosopher Oscar Wilde´s wit and charm dazzled society in London, America and Paris in the late 1880s. But the year 1895 brought Wilde literary triumph -with two plays achieving phenomenal success in London´s West End -and personal disaster. Urged on by his friend Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde brought a libel action against Lord Alfred´s father, the eccentric Marquess of Queensberry. The ensuing trials at the Old Bailey revealed Wilde´s reckless adventures in the London underworld and he was sentenced to two years´ imprisonment with hard labour. This fascinating biography examines both sides of Wilde´s life: the artistic genius who gave us The Importance of Being Ernest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the man who visited male prostitutes and was pre-occupied with sin. As well as following Wilde´s life from its Dublin beginnings to its end in Paris, this masterly study explores his friendships and literary circle, which included writers such as Yeats, Proust and Gide.