|“Oscar Wilde was one of the direct instruments in the freeing of Dreyfus.”
Christopher Healy, journalist and confidante of Oscar Wilde and Emile ZolaOscar Wilde came out of prison a broken man. There seemed no hope of reviving his spirit, of finding the spark that would once again set his genius ablaze. Yet when he came to Paris in 1898 an extraordinary opportunity presented itself. The city, the whole world of politics, fashion and society was in the grip of the Dreyfus Affair, the scandalous attempt to frame a Jewish army officer on charges of treason. One of Wilde’s closest friends had been told the true secret of the plot and passed the information to Wilde in the hope of enlisting his scintillating gifts in its exposure.
How this scheme backfired, how Wilde not only misplayed his hand but actually became the friend of the arch-villain of the piece, with results at first devastating to Dreyfus but ultimately to his persecutors, is the theme of this fascinating book.