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Robert Hitchens

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Category: General Interest
Reference No: 10647
Status: Available
Price: £20.00
  Robert Hitchens  Robert Hitchens

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English journalist and novelist, instrumental in the downfall of Oscar Wilde.

Hitchens first became famous for The Green Carnation, a satire of Hichens' friends Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, published anonymously in 1894, and an instant success both sides of the Atlantic.

The book features the characters of "Esmé Amarinth" (Wilde), and "Lord Reginald (Reggie) Hastings" (Douglas). The words put in the mouths of the hero and his young friend in the story are mostly gathered from the sayings of their originals. Robert Hichens spent nearly a year in the company of the men and was able to accurately recreate the atmosphere and relationship between Oscar and Bosie. The book was withdrawn from circulation in 1895, but by that time the damage had been done. Wilde soon stood three consecutive trials for gross indecency and was sentenced to two years at hard labour. The Green Carnation was one of the works used against him by the prosecution.

Hitchens also wrote novels that were made into films - The Garden of Allah (1904) and The Paradine Case (1933) - and the gothic horror story How Love Came to Professor Guildea, which frequently appears in anthologies. There was also an interesting novel, Felix (1902), that was an early fictional treatment of hypodermic morphine addiction.

For most of his later life he lived outside England, in Switzerland and the Riviera. Hichens was a homosexual and never married.

This is a fine early signature in ink on a 7.75" x 5.5" sheet of notepaper. Three horizontal correspondence folds. In very good condition.