Neil McKenna

Neil McKenna is an award-winning journalist and biographer. He is the author of the best-selling The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, a groundbreaking account of Wilde’s sexuality and work, which won widespread acclaim in Britain and in the United States.

McKenna has written for the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Observer, the Guardian and the New Statesman. He is a former deputy editor of Elle Decoration and was an editor for Channel 4. He has also worked extensively in the gay press where he is known for initiating the campaign for gay law reform in the Isle of Man and leading the fight against Clause 25.

He has recently completed Fanny and Stella (to be published by Faber in March 2013), the story of Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park, two young cross-dressers who were arrested in 1870 and subjected to a state trial in Westminster Hall.

Praise for The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde:

‘Neil McKenna’s book is the most important to have been written about Wilde for many years. It is whiskey to Ellmann’s water. This is because McKenna understands and reveals … for the first time the real nature of Wilde’s developing sexuality and its role in his artistic as well as his personal life.’
– Senator David Norris, the Irish Independent

‘It cannot be recommended too highly. Extraordinary, intensely passionate and quite beautiful.’
Manchester Evening News

‘Brilliantly written and meticulously researched, this new biography tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Oscar Wilde but never dared to ask.’

‘… the most exciting and important Wilde scholarship to be published in decades.’
Publishers’ Weekly (US)