Merlin Holland is Oscar Wilde’s only grandson.

He is himself an author, biographer, editor and journalist.

And, he has spent more than 20 years researching and writing about his grandfather’s life and works.

He is descended from Oscar Wilde and his wife Constance (née Lloyd) Wilde who had two sons Cyril and Vyvyan.

Cyril was killed in World War 1. Merlin Holland is the only son of Vyvyan and his second wife Thelma Besant.

Constance was forced to change the family surname to Holland when she moved abroad after Oscar Wilde’s infamous trial.

The Irish author, playwright and poet, penned works such as The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

But he is famous today as much for his sparkling wit and flamboyant lifestyle.

His trial, on charges of gross indecency with men, shocked Victorian England at a time when homosexuality was illegal.

He was found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labour from 1895-97. He died in 1900, aged just 46.

Merlin Holland, who lives in Burgundy, France, has been writing After Oscar. It is a study of Wilde’s family and the effects of the scandal on them for decades after his death.

It also investigates the myths and inventions that grew up around Wilde.

Holland took part in the inaugural Mayfair & St James’s Literary Festival last year, in partnership with the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation.

He read Josephine Hart’s introduction to Wilde’s The Ballad Of Reading Gaol.

Holland also donated a very rare copy of a large format book of Oscar Wilde Facsimile Manuscripts which he had edited. He gave the book for auction in aid of the George V Fund for Actors and Actresses.

 

To find out more about the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, read here.