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Ardythe Ashley

Apr 18, 2022

Ardythe Ashley on Oscar Wilde

Book Talk 51

New Books Network 2022

Secretly his unconscious body, still flickering with life, is spirited away by to an island monastery in the Venetian lagoon where he recovers his health and joie de vivre. From there he begins a series of adventures that include Auguste Rodin, a romance with an English aristocrat, a new lover, a session with Sigmund Freud, and an heroic death. I spoke with novelist Ardythe Ashley about her meticulously researched historical novel that breathes new life into a writer who continues to charm and fascinate readers and audiences to this day.

Ardythe Ashley is the author of The Return of the Century: The Death and Further Adventures of Oscar Wilde. While doing research for the novel, she found herself in the Library of the British Museum reading the letters Oscar Wilde wrote in his dank cell in Reading Gaol to Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie), later published as De Profundis. “I’m sorry, Madam,” came the firm-but-not-unkind voice of a white-gloved librarian, “but it is not permitted to weep upon the manuscripts.” In addition to being a writer, Ashley is a retired psychoanalyst. A retired psychoanalyst, Ashley is also the author of the novels The Christ of the Butterflies and In The Country of the Great King.

Uli Baer teaches literature and photography as University Professor at New York University. A recipient of Guggenheim, Getty and Humboldt awards, in addition to hosting "Think About It” he hosts (with Caroline Weber) the podcast "The Proust Questionnaire” and is Editorial Director at Warbler Press. Email ucb1@nyu.edu; Twitter @UliBaer.

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Uli Baer

Uli Baer teaches literature and photography as University Professor at New York University. A recipient of Guggenheim, Getty and Humboldt awards, in addition to hosting "Think About It” he hosts (with Caroline Weber) the podcast "The Proust Questionnaire” and is Editorial Director at Warbler Press. Email ucb1@nyu.edu; Twitter @UliBaer.

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