"I thought life was going to be a brilliant comedy, and you were to be one of the many graceful figures in it."
While imprisoned in 1895-7 for "gross indecency", the brilliant poet and playwright Oscar Wilde wrote a long, impassioned letter to his estranged young lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. Later published as De Profundis, Wilde's letter describes the unbearable pains and blissful pleasures of his love, as well as his views on art, Christianity, and incarceration. Heavily abridged in most editions, De Profundis is here reproduced in full-a telling insight into this charismatic and sensitive author's life and times.
Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford where, a disciple of Pater, he founded an aesthetic cult. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and his two sons were born in 1885 and 1886.
His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), established his reputation. In 1895, following his libel action against the Marquess of Queesberry, Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for "gross indecency", as a result of which he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and his confessional letter De Profundis (1905). On his release from prison in 1897 he lived in obscurity in Europe, and died in Paris in 1900.
Pub Date: 2019
Size: 5.00 x 8.00 inches