This is the story of the relationship between Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, from the years in which Wilde rose to the pinnacle of theatrical success, through the catastrophe of trials at the Old Bailey and bitter separation, to the bleak years of exile that followed. The book explains how Oscar and "Bosie" took delight in leading a double life until Queensberry trapped Wilde in a legal action which Wilde had no hope of winning, with disastrous consequences for Wilde, Bosie and their most intimate companions. The author argues that Wilde is not the martyr of common mythology, the classic victim of Victorian homophobia. Before his trial, he explains, there had been no movement against homosexuals; on the contrary, the gay sub-culture had flourished. Wilde himself sought to control events both before the trial and in the aftermath, leaving behind a poisoned legacy that blighted the lives of both the men he had loved, Robbie Ross and his greatest passion, Douglas. In defending his relationship, Fisher points out, Oscar found himself caught in the midst of a bitter feud between Bosie and his father, the Marquess of Queensberry.
This book sets out to reveal how the bitter passions that drove Bosie and led him into savage conflict with his family would, in the end, destroy his relationship with Oscar.