‘Letters from Two Idiots to a Lunatic’

J. Robert Maguire

in Ceremonies of Bravery

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199660827
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748929 | DOI:
‘Letters from Two Idiots to a Lunatic’

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A principal concern of Wilde’s wife Constance was that one of the few assets in his bankruptcy of any value, his life interest in her marriage settlement, pass directly to their two sons at her death, as provided in an arrangement proposed by her family solicitor, Sidney Hargrove. At an emotional meeting in Reading Prison, where Constance came to comfort Wilde on news of his mother’s death, he readily agreed to Hargrove’s plan and requested in an unequivocal letter to his friend Robbie Ross that he so inform Hargrove. The meeting held bright promise for the reconciliation and shared future that both husband and wife desired. On learning of Wilde’s wishes, however, More Adey, the most active of Wilde’s friends in the management of his affairs, felt that there were compelling reasons for not feeling bound by his explicit instructions. Among the disastrous consequences of Adey’s mistaken, albeit well-intentioned, judgement in acting on Wilde’s behalf in the long-drawn-out matter of his interest in the marriage settlement was the permanent estrangement of the married couple, a source of lasting sorrow.

Keywords: Schuster; Harris; Ross; Adey; Clifton; Hargrove; Leverson; Sherard; Holland; Quaritch; Holman; Humphreys; Hansell; Turner

Chapter.  8971 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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