Vyvyan Holland

The Contrary View: Wilde Deserved His Fate

‘They drove poor Oscar to his grave,’ The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon sings on his album, ‘Absent Friends’, echoing the revised opinion that had transformed Oscar Wilde from ‘reviled pervert’ to ‘martyred genius’. As various anniversaries arrived, the genius of Oscar was commemorated with great style and occasional crassness. Reformed public opinion was well under […]

All Writers Have Their Off Days

I’ve been running a column about missing and forgotten writers for a number of years now, and I’ve been steadily pushing for the reprinting of lost books from deserving authors. But are there some who don’t deserve resuscitation? The archetypal rubbish poet is of course William Topaz McGonagall, whose epic doggerel ‘The Tay Bridge Disaster’ offers […]