Sitting up reading late at night, the author reflects on the links between the homosexual of the 1980s and his counterparts of a century ago, between gay lives today and those of Oscar Wilde, his friends, lovers and acquaintances. Many books have been written about Oscar Wilde. Who Was That Man? is unique - the acting out of a love-hate relationship between Wilde and a gay Londoner of today. Neil Bartlett has grabbed history by the collar and made bitter love to it. I can think of no other way to describe this fantastic personal meditation on Oscar Wilde and the last hundred years of English homosexuality. At the very moment gay existence is endangered by disease and a renewed puritanism, Bartlett has embraced what was alien and criminal or merely clinical and loved it into poignant life - Edmund White
Born in 1958, Neil Bartlett has spent twenty-five years at the cutting edge of British gay culture. His ground-breaking study of Oscar Wilde, Who Was That Man? paved the way for a queer re-imagining of history ; his first novel, Ready To Catch Him Should He Fall, was voted Capital Gay Book of The Year; his second, Mr Clive and Mr Page, was nominated for the Whitbread Prize. Both have since been translated into five European languages. Listing him as one of the country's fifty most significant gay cultural figures, the Independent said "Brilliant,beautiful, mischievous; few men can match Bartlett for the breadth of his exploration of gay sensibility". He also works as a director, and in 2000 was awarded an OBE for services to the theatre.