A Theory of Scandal: Victorians, Homosexuality, and the Fall of Oscar Wilde1

  title={A Theory of Scandal: Victorians, Homosexuality, and the Fall of Oscar Wilde1},
  author={Ari Adut},
  journal={American Journal of Sociology},
  pages={213 - 248}
  • Ari Adut
  • Published 1 July 2005
  • Art
  • American Journal of Sociology
Oscar Wilde is considered to be the iconic victim of 19th‐century English puritanism. Yet the Victorian authorities rarely and only reluctantly enforced homosexuality laws. Moreover, Wilde’s sexual predilections had long been common knowledge in London before his trials without affecting the dramatist's wide popularity. Focusing on the seemingly inconsistent Victorian attitudes toward homosexuality and the dynamics of the Oscar Wilde affair, this article develops a general theory of scandal as… 

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