Michèle Mendelssohn is a literary critic and cultural historian who teaches at Oxford University. She is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aestheticism, a cultural movement that originated in Victorian Britain and spread to North America through a mixture of high art, idealism and popular culture. Her expertise encompasses British, American and Canadian literature from the 19th century to the present day.
She is the author of Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Aesthetic Culture (2007, paperback 2014) and co-editor of Late Victorian into Modern (shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize) and Writing Under the Influence: Essays on Alan Hollinghurst (2016, paperback 2018).
Making Oscar Wilde— her 2018 biography of the Irish wit, dramatist and gay icon Oscar Wilde — has been described as a “MUST READ” (The Sunday Times), “prodigious” (The Observer), “fascinating” (The New Yorker), “extraordinary” (The Irish Times), and “astonishing” (The Gay & Lesbian Review). It was chosen as one of The Guardian’s Best Summer Books, a Paris Review Staff Pick, and a BBC Culture top Book To Read. The Times Literary Supplement and The Sunday Times selected Making Oscar Wilde as one of 2018’s Best Books. It is shortlisted for the Biographer’s Club Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize and longlisted for the PEN America Biography Prize.
Born and raised bilingual in Montréal, Canada, Michèle Mendelssohn now makes her home in the UK and Canada.
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