Bernard Shaw, Frank Harris & Oscar Wilde

By Robert Harborough Sherard | Go to book overview

PREFACE

BY LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS

THE WHIRLIGIG OF TIME continues to bring in his revenges in the matter of Oscar Wilde, and it is certainly an odd turn of the wheel that I should be writing a Preface to a book about him by his oldest, most faithful and most chivalrous friend, Robert Harborough Sherard.

There was a time when Mr. Sherard and I disagreed rather acrimoniously over Wilde, and it has taken years of slow‐ grinding mills, and buckets of mud slung by, among others, Frank Harris, to bring us together again, united in our devotion to the memory of a great genius and cruelly ill-treated and injured man.

I have to admit, with deep regret, that at one period I reacted violently against Wilde after having almost worshipped him for twenty years.In spite of the obvious provocation I received when I read for the first time in 1912, twelve years after his death, the "attack" he made on me in his prison letter, part of which was faked up by the late Robert Ross under the tide De Profundis, I blame and reproach myself for having turned against him as I did when I published, in 1914, a book called Oscar Wilde and Myself, most of which was written by the late T. W. H. Crosland.I have already publicly repudiated this book and have admitted in my Autobiography (published 1929) that a great deal of what I said, or allowed to be said, about Wilde at that time was unfair and untrue, but as Mr. Sherard has referred to the book in his present publication I wish to repeat what I have written, and once more to put it formally on record that I withdraw what I said against Oscar

-xi-

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