Wildes Last Stand by Phillip Hoare
Outlining Maude Allens unsuccessful attempt to clear her name in court for Lewd and Immoral Behaviour,made against her by Independant MP,Self Publicist and Newspaper Proprietor Noel Pemberton Billing.in 1918
The Previous Year,The Dancer Mata Hari had been shot by the french as a spy.This maybe helped ferment the anti-decadence sentiment that swept through europe and characterised the final years of the war and helped the rise of fascism both in Germany,Italy and the flegling British Union of Fascists headed by Mosley with their hatred of the Avant Garde in music,art and theatre.
Maude Allen unwittingly became the victim of Billings Conspiricy theory known as the "Cult Of Wilde" that accused 47,000 members of the establishment and armed forces of Treason,Sodomy and Lesbian Acts which jepodised Britains War Effort.
Maude Allens reputation was ruined by unsubstantiated rumours of a lesbian relationsip with Wife of former primeminister Asquith made during the trial and the whole of her action was overshadowed by questions over the Morality of Oscar Wilde whose play salome she was appearing in,thus the deliniation between Actress and Character became blurred to the point of indistinction.So much so that the infamous "Bosie" Lord Alfred Douglas,Wildes former Lover and instrument of his downfall was called to testify about Wildes morality or alleged lack of it and the alledged nature of the play and its authors intent.
A good read and a fascinating snapshot of voxpop wartime britain
which has echoes in todays modern society with its own preoccupations with Decadence,immorality,the influence of Homosexuals in government (aka Tabloid "Gay Mafia" accusations) and Prohibitions on openly gay members of the Military.
Brief Synopsis of Allen V Billing