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Neil Kydd
"It is a very intriguing find"
 real 28k

Sunday, 6 August, 2000, 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK
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An unfinished play by Oscar Wilde has been uncovered which deals with the effect his homosexual affairs had on his marriage.

Neil Kydd, a fan of the playwright, unearthed the manuscript while looking through Wilde's works in the University of California's library.

He hopes to publish the story, A Wife's Tragedy, which has parallels with Wilde's life.

It was written in 1892 when Wilde's marriage to his long-suffering wife, Constance, was reaching a critical point.

He was no doubt really wrestling with remorse and guilt and betrayal

Neil Kydd
Wilde fan
The manuscript, written in the playwright's own hand and littered with scribbles, tells the story of a man who betrays his wife by seducing another woman.

Mr Kydd said: "It was written at a point in time when things were really building to a head in 1892 when he was completely besotted with Lord Alfred Douglas."

"He was no doubt really wrestling with remorse and guilt and betrayal," he said.

Homosexual affair

Wilde married Constance Lloyd and their first child was born in June 1885.

When their second child was born in 1886, Wilde had already embarked on his first homosexual affair.

He then met Lord Alfred Douglas, son of the Marquess of Queensbury.

Wilde sued Queensbury after being left an obscene message, but had later to withdraw his action.

He was then charged with committing indecent acts and was sentenced to two years hard labour in 1895.

Oscar Wilde: Manuscript "too close to home"
He never recovered from his prison experiences and died in 1900 in self-imposed exile in France.

Mr Kydd believes Wilde abandoned A Wife's Tragedy when it came a little too close to home.

"Wilde had hundreds of ideas for many projects and was pushing his personality to the extreme and maybe this one was just a little too close for comfort," he said.

Mr Kydd said he was very excited to have found the manuscript.

"I think it's a very intriguing find.

"It's not that it is completely unknown but it hasn't really received the type of scholarly attention that many of the more well-known works have been given," he said.

"Anything that can throw perhaps a new light and give us a small insight into the marital troubles that Wilde was going through is an exciting find."

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30 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Importance of being recognised
30 Nov 98 | UK
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