Sir Travers Humphreys

Famous and Infamous Trials (London: Heinemann 1950), incls. ‘The Trial of Oscar Wilde’, pp.236-44:

‘Wilde had no one to blame but himself; that vanity and exhibitionism which are said to be the peculiarity of those whose moral code is the same as his had led him to adopt a course which could only end in his utter [240] degradation’; author adverts to the fatal exchange with Carson that ‘sent Wilde crashing from his pedestal’: ‘Did you kiss that boy?’; ‘Oh no. He was a peculiarly ugly boy’ ‘... is that the reason why you did not kiss him?’ [243]; quotes Wilde, ‘If the charges were true they would be filthy and loathesome’; author considers that men who live ‘a life of filthy beastliness’ are not fit to be accepted as a friend .. &c.

A Book of Trials (London: Heinemann 1953), 243pp., incls. ‘High Treason II: The Case of Roger Casement’, pp.123-30 [makes ref. to George H. Knott, Notable British Trials [n.d.].)

Casement knighted, 20 June 1911; refers also to Sinn Féin Rebellion, Dublin; considers the trial ‘eminently fair’; makes no mention of the Diaries. See also in this volume ‘Oscar Wilde’, pp.33-43: The author’s first trial was the Queensberry hearing; ‘plea for justification’; homosexual section was No. XI in the Act.

Quotes W. S. Gibert's of Wilde: ‘he was so constituted that he would rather be made to look ridiculous than be ignored’ (p.36.)

St. John Ervine wrote of Queensbury, ‘A more unholy scoundrel never defiled the earth by his presence on it. The Marquis of Queensberry was either the embodiment of evil who should have been destroyed, or an incurable lunatic who should have been certified and secluded’ (here 36.)

Quotes Wilde’s riposte to Carson about the former newspaper boy—‘That is the first I have heard of his connection with literature’—drew no laughter; Sir Edward Clarke represented Wilde in the Queensbury trial; Charles Gill prosecuted in the first Wilde trial, where Wilde offered ‘a fine outburst in defence of male affection’, resulting in a split jury; sentences 25th May 1895.]

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