The Case of the Pederast's Wife

Clare Elfman

Martin believes he can cure "hysterical" women by listening, observing, and by talk alone. He chooses, for his first case, a woman he deeply admires: the ailing wife of the notorious Oscar Wilde, but is forced to confront his own unconscious.
Publication date:
February 2000
Publisher :
Dufour Editions
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9780802313324

Dimensions : 216 X 140 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks


A young Victorian doctor seeks a miraculous cure for the "pederast's wife." This is a fascinating novel about the world of late Victorian England, the "new" medicine, sex and scandals, and a revealing portrait of the suffering woman who was in the shadows during the famous Oscar Wilde trial - his wife, Constance Wilde. Clare Elfman paints a vivid picture of this Victorian world: genteel rooms where gentlewomen buttoned to the throat and trapped in log-o-mutton sleeves take tea among the lady fern and aspidistra, while in hidden rooms a fin-de-siecle decadence culminates in the shocking trial of Oscar Wild for "gross indecency."


"With skill and finesse, Elfman speculates on the strange marriage of Oscar and Constance Wilde.. Elfman uses fine period detail to create a Victorian setting in which her character's wickedly clever dialogue runs true." - Publishers Weekly