Book Beginnings & Friday 56: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

 The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

In the middle of the night, in the sleepy town of Red River Pass, a lonely telegraph machine clicked away, with no one yet present to receive its message, delivering in Morse code the news of a writer in England who had just made legal history for being the first famous person convicted of committing acts of gross indecency. 
- p. 9

For Friday 56:
Edra looked deep into Mildred’s eyes. They knew each other well and in this moment, like so many that came before, they honed in on what they felt and were thinking without words needing to pass between them. It was times like this, in their hearts’ synchronicity, that they knew the only answer was to continue to love, despite everything.
- p. 56
Synopsis: The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

I don't know anything about Oscar Wilde other than some of his work as an author. So I wonder about this one. What do you think? Is this something you'd read?

Happy Friday everyone!

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful and sad.
    I will add your link when the post is live. :-)

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  2. This one does sound really fascinating...lots of drama, sadness, etc. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's MY FRIDAY MEMES POST

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  3. I love books that take an actual event and build on it, so this is a story I'd enjoy. The cover alone is enough to make me want to know what's inside!
    My Friday 56 post features FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.

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  4. Like Sandy I love books that use a real life event to base the story around. Oscar Wilde was a a fascinating person and his court case was a travesty and a tragedy. Curious to see how this plays out in small town USA.

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  5. I was totally blown away when I received an e-mail from Aloi, that my book was featured here yesterday. This wonderful blogger did this for a complete stranger, an act of kindness I will not forget, not for me but for tolerance, and because all profits are going to animal rescue. I'm also grateful for all the comments here and to connect with new lovely people. I spent the last six years of my life researching and writing this book and believe me, all here, Oscar Wilde haunts my cells, his injustice a horrible dark stain, watershed time, in history for homophobia. If anyone cares to get in touch with me to chat or see more about the book I'll post a couple of links here. I'm humbled by the kindness, the words here, and amazed that this is what books do, they bring us together. Thank you so much.
    Paulette

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePersecutionOfMildredDunlap

    http://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

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    1. hi Paulette! i have your book and i look forward to reading it. i would love to have you over at my blog sometime.

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    2. Hi Ao Bibliophile, I'd love that. Please feel free to e-mail me at ptmahurin@sbcglobal.net

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  6. Interesting and beautiful. I love it!
    Great post.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  7. It sounds pretty interesting. Might be worth checking out. Thanks for visiting my post as well.

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  8. I'm trying to figure out why the conviction of Wilde impacted this small town so much....

    Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Glad I came by to answer this really great question. First, please know it's a work of fiction and my ever busy mind put it in this small town for multiple reasons. I just answered that question on an interview wit Christina Hamlett if you want to have a look at it in more detail. My blog site is above with my post to everyone here.

      The short answer is, when Wilde was imprisoned the news did in fact go out over telegraphs world wide. I found an NY Times article, dated April 5, 1895, that wrote about the immorality of it all. Research also shows that Wilde's imprisonment (it being a criminal act in Britain for men to be involved in "indecency" was big news) changed the attitude toward same sex relationships from one of a limited genteel tolerance to that of overt hostility and hatred. Where there were whispers in living rooms prior, now there were overt screams, not unlike the dialogue that opens in Chapter one of my book. News then went out around the world via telegraphs and pony express. A lot of small towns have gossip clicks, whether from boredom, intolerance, who knows... a juicy hot topic like this was just too much to contain, especially when the town had a very opinionated sociopath, like Josie Purdue (the antagonist to Mildred Dunlap).

      Sure do hope this answered your question. If not, feel free to get in touch with me at either of the above links.

      Paulette

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  9. i have this book in my Kindle library Aloi!

    by the way, it wasn't flies those two guys were waiting for. something bigger! i like reprints with their old or original book covers. they make the books really look classy and classic!

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  10. All I know about him is that he died a young 46 and I like these lines,

    "Tread lightly, she is near
    Under the snow
    Speak gently, she can hear
    the daisies grow"

    The book sounds interesting. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi LadyD Piano,

      Sad, he died at that age, with one friend at his side. His words, his quotes, are some of the most remarkable of any I have ever read in terms of understanding the human condition. I am deeply moved by the unfortunate circumstances of his being born before his time, in terms of who he could freely love. He is a poster man, the metaphor, for so many who suffered intolerance--of all sorts. One of my favorite quotes of his, and I paraphrase: "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." I start each chapter in my book with a quote from him to keep him alive, in the book. Now, he's alive in my heart.

      What a great group and visit this has been. Thank you again, Aloi.

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  11. i won this book in a giveaway but it's an e-book and i don't have an e-reader :(

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    1. I'm sorry to hear this Jen. If you won this and can't read it, contact me at ptmahurin@sbcglobal.net


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  12. thank you, thank you so much for sharing this.. am going to add this to my TBR..

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    1. i would never have found it if i werent approached for a review! :)

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  13. Hi - I found your link doing a blog hop. I'm following. I think Oscar Wilde was an amazing writer and one of my favorites is The Importance of Being Earnest.
    I'm following you. Please consider following me.
    Java With Jambor

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    1. Thanks for the visit. I will go and check out your blog!

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  14. Replies
    1. WOnderful to know, Teena. I'm reading it is a little while :)

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  15. I don't know anything about Oscar Wilde either but it sounds like an interesting read.

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    1. I've actually read and reviewed this one, Yvonne. And Paulette Mahurin, the author, was really good at answring people's questions! Here's the link:
      http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-persecution-of-mildred-dunlap-by.html

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