The First Book of Wilde"We come now to the First Book of Wilde", said the Lord, giving a small cough to clear his throat. He stepped back from the podium to survey the Assembly, a dynamic little movement accompanied by a slight flourish of the forearms. The watching individuals felt the tug of fervour beneath their ribs strengthen perceptibly, in sympathy with the enraptured, charismatic conviction emanated by the speaker. The light of the chandelier shone on the Lord's neat golden hair, on the purple velvet of his ceremonial tailcoat and the rich smoke of his heavy, opium-tainted cigarette, illuminating the smooth pallor of his skin with the warm glow of a hundred candles.
"It is a Book of great Beauty and terrible Ugliness, of paradoxes and contrasts that speak with ravishing elegance to the Hedonism of our deepest souls. It has much to teach us about ourselves as Victorians. Turn now to The Twenty-Three Maxims of Art, maxim five; 'Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful thi