In a lurid, headline-dominating trial as emblematic of the twentieth century as Oscar Wilde's was of the nineteenth, Ward was the only person to emerge with some dignity and honour. But he became the scapegoat of a furiously self-righteous Establishment, and was hounded by press and police until he could no longer tolerate the pressure.

Ward was a reluctant martyr - a bridge between the ruling class and the embryonic permissive society, who history now shows to have been an unwitting herald of the revolution in manners, music and morals that came to characterise the sixties.