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The Diary of Mary Travers

The Diary of Mary Travers

Eibhear Walshe

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It is April 1895 and Oscar Wilde is on trial in London at the Old Bailey, following his libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, and faces ruin, public disgrace and imprisonment. In County Cork, a woman called Mary Travers is following the Wilde Trials in the newspapers, increasingly troubled by the growing public outcry.

Mary Travers has her own secret, her hidden connection with Oscar Wilde and his parents, William and Jane, and dreads discovery and exposure. Unknown to those around her, in 1864, as a young woman, she had been the key figure in a notorious court case in Dublin, in which she sued Jane Wilde for libel, and the resulting scandal filled the newspapers for weeks.

In this new novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, this controversial case is re-imagined for the first time through the eyes of the central figure, Mary Travers, and in her diary she reveals her own part in this scandal, her unhappy home life and her intimate connection with two of the most celebrated writers of her time, William and Jane Wilde.

'This is a marvellous novel and also an ingenious one, fusing, as it does, an amorous episode with a devastating legal outcome from the life of Oscar Wilde's father, Sir William Wilde, with the son Oscar's catastrophic trials which were themselves the outcome of an amorous episode: this conflation is inspired. The novel's narrator, one Mary Travers, is a brilliant creation: vulnerable, vengeful, damaged, innocent, passionate, wilful, self deceiving, dangerous and endlessly and indefatigably interesting. This is historic fiction of the highest order, dark, complex, artful, and compelling.'  Carlo Gébler

Additional Information

Author Eibhear Walshe
Publisher Somerville Press
Publication date 17 Sep 2014
Format Paperback with flaps
ISBN/EAN 9780992736422

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