Evening Talks

Our Evening Talks explore the stories surrounding the history of policing on Bow Street.

The Secret Life: Loves and Lusts of Oscar Wilde

Thursday 25th April 2024, 18:30 (doors open 18:15)

Following his sold-out talk in February, the museum is delighted to welcome back author Neil McKenna.

The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde is Neil’s acclaimed and controversial first biography. The book charts fully for the first time Oscar Wilde’s astonishing erotic odyssey through Victorian London’s sexual underworld.

This bestselling book makes a compelling and convincing argument that Oscar Wilde was driven personally and creatively by his powerful desires for sex with young men and that his work can only be fully understood in terms of his sexuality.

Drawing on a vast array of previously unknown and unpublished material, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde meticulously and brilliantly reconstructs Oscar Wilde’s emotional and sexual life, painting an astonishingly frank and vivid psychological portrait of a troubled genius who chose to martyr himself for the cause of love between men.

Neil McKenna is an award-winning journalist and author. After a distinguished and ground-breaking career in Britain’s gay press and in national newspapers, Neil researched and wrote On the Margins: Men Who Have Sex With Men in the Developing World, the findings of which were formally adopted by the UN. Neil then turned his attention to gay history and wrote the acclaimed biographies: The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde and Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England. He lives in a very sleepy corner of North Norfolk.

Timings: doors open at 18:15. The talk begins at 18:30 and lasts approximately 75 minutes, including a Q&A with the audience and a book signing

Conditions of entry: this event is recommended for anyone over the age of 16 years. 

Tickets: there are two ways to attend this event, in person at Bow Street Police Museum, or online via a live stream (using Zoom). 

Prices to attend at the Museum: £12/ £9.60 Friends.

Prices to attend via Livestream: £6/ £4.80 Friends.

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