04 February 2010

what I'm reading now : wilde cromwell

What would Little Augury be without a book posting now and again? I am coming off a WOLF HALL- Hilary Mantel- loving Thomas Cromwell moment. Not laborious, but maybe a bit too long, OK-I am convinced Cromwell was a dear-an aesthete even. I suppose I will be obliged to read the next Mantel book a continuation of the very man.
See the prettiest cast of TUDORS ever you'd want to see Here.  I don't think Booker Prize winner Mantel was tuned in.

Along with WOLF I am reading Joan DeJean's THE AGE OF COMFORT: WHEN PARIS DISCOVERED CASUAL--AND THE MODERN HOME BEGAN. Witty writing and chock full of dainties about all things pertaining on the topic-recommended by An Aesthete's Lament.

I will be finishing at least one when Oscar Wilde arrives.

'murder is always a mistake-one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner.'

That's Oscar Wilde- the detective.
You didn't know he was a sleuth?
Ah, not surprising-I think there is still much to be learned about this great aesthete. I caught up on the trail of OW detective from le style et la matiere this summer. The OSCAR WILDE MYSTERIES are by Gyles Brandreth.* His latest is the Dead Man's Smile.
I started reading the mystery genre in my teens-with I think- one of the best- Agatha Christie. Surely-haven't read them all, but many- Hercule Poirot is my favourite. No, I never read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys-no offense to either. Of course Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle are quintessential reading for sleuth lovers- and Conan Doyle works through ideas with our Oscar in Brandreth's books, as does Bram Stoker and Robert Sherard-Oscar Wilde's loyal friend who plays "Watson" to WILDE"S "Sherlock."
The result of my loving a mystery is such that any historical figure attempting the noble profession in fiction- I am fascinated by.
No they are not all exceptional- but still, I am greatly diverted.
I would have been a detective if interior design-another mystery-had not beckoned.

Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile

Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

The second book ...a Game Called Murder finds Oscar Wilde coming off the success of Lady Windmere's Fan  and hosting a dinner party where he proposes a game called “Murder.”
Murder poses the question:
Who would you kill, if you had no chance of being caught?

no,no-Don't answer that! Unless you are compelled beyond reason-
Rather answer this age old question:
If you had to dine with one famous historical figure who would that be?
Isn't my answer obvious?

See Gyles Brandreth take a walk on the Wilde side:


*Gyles Brandreth is a former Oxford Scholar and President of the Oxford Union and worked in theatre, television and publishing before becoming MP for the City of Chester in 1992. He held a number of junior ministerial appointments before becoming a Government Whip. In the run-up to the 1997 General Election he was Lord Commissionar of the Treasury with special responsibility for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Kenneth Clarke), the Cabinet Office, and the Deputy Minister (Michael Heseltine).



  1. I'm currently in the middle of Wolf Hall. Enjoying it very much.
    I might just choose Elizabeth I as my dinner companion. Should make for interesting conversation, I would think.

  2. I too read mysteries from childhood, starting from Famous Five and Secret Seven, then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. But what surprises me now, in my dotage, is that I am loving PD James, Ruth Rendell etc.

    How does Gyles Brandreth manage to do all he does AND write? I am exhausted just reading his CV.

  3. If you haven't already - check out the DVD on Oscar's life titled "WILDE" - Excellent Acting - It's on my "To Buy" List. Mary

  4. LFG just gave me Wolf Hall for my b'day.

  5. what a coincidence! i just finished "the picture of dorian gray" last night and laughed out loud at the very line you selected: murder is always a mistake-one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner. and now i am catching up on your blog entries after being out of town. LOVE OW! and love your blog.



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