Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945), nicknamed Bosie, was an English author, poet and translator, better known as the friend and lover of writer Oscar Wilde. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme, though he tended, later in life, to distance himself from both Wilde’s influence and his own role as a Uranian poet.
Douglas published several volumes of poetry; two books about his relationship with Wilde, Oscar Wilde and Myself (1914; largely ghostwritten by T. W. H. Crosland, the assistant editor of The Academy and later repudiated by Douglas), Oscar Wilde: A Summing Up (1940); and a memoir, The Autobiography of Lord Alfred Douglas (1931).
Douglas also was the editor of a literary journal, The Academy, from 1907 to 1910, and during this time he had an affair with artist Romaine Brooks, who was also bisexual (the main love of her life, Natalie Clifford Barney, also had an affair with Wilde’s niece Dorothy and even, in 1901, with Douglas’ future wife Olive Custance, the year before the couple married).
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Douglas was found guilty of libelling Winston Churchill and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Churchill had been accused as cabinet minister, of falsifying an official report on the Battle of Jutland in 1916 when, although suffering losses, the Royal Navy drove the German battle fleet off the high seas. Churchill was said to have reported that the British navy had in fact, been defeated; the motive was supposed to be that when this news was flashed, the prices of British securities would tumble on the world’s stock exchanges, allowing a group of named Jewish financiers to snap them up cheaply. Churchill’s reward was a houseful of furniture, valued at £40,000. The allegations were made by Douglas in his journal Plain English and later at a public meeting in London.