"Wilde Nostalgia: Queer Tradition in Beverley Nichols's Garden Trilogies."

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

January 2016

Publication Title

[sic]: A journal of Literature, Culture, and Literary Translation


This essay examines the long-standing and far-reaching influence of Oscar Wilde’s public persona – both historical and mythical – on author Beverley Nichols. Nichols, famous during his lifetime for both his non-fiction and reportage, has sustained his fame primarily through his Allways and Merry Hall gardening trilogies. These feature a semi-autobiographical version of the author who is self-styled as a spiritual successor who pays homage to, and extends the legacy of, Oscar Wilde and his endless bon mots, serving up irony, humor, and social commentary in an engaging, urbane manner while further shaping the Wildean identity that prevailed as an iconic gay style throughout much of the last century and that endures, in some forms, even today.