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The Faiths of Oscar Wilde

Catholicism, Folklore and Ireland

The Faiths of Oscar Wilde by Jarlath Killeen
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This energetic and original book examines in detail the relationship between faith, theology, religious history and national politics in the major writings of Oscar Wilde. It focuses in particular on Wilde's lifelong attraction to Catholicism, an attraction originating in his time spent as a boy, in the West of Ireland. Killeen also closely examines the influence of Wilde's Protestant heritage on his work: his antagonism towards this heritage is closely related to the narrative modes he chose to work in, and the aesthetic philosophy he espoused. Overall, the book demonstrates how Wilde combined his religious leanings with a reconfiguration of Nationalism, while an Irish 'exile' in London. For Wilde, Catholicism and Irish Nationalism were inter-dependent projects that operated as the fields of force energising his writing. Providing an entirely fresh critical perspective on his writing, (including The Picture of Dorian Grey, The Importance of Being Earnest), this new study will be of interest to all students and scholars of Wilde.
Palgrave Macmillan; October 2005
241 pages; ISBN 9780230503557
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Title: The Faiths of Oscar Wilde
Author: Jarlath Killeen