In 1895 Wilde had been convicted of "gross indecency" and sentenced to two years of hard labor. Prison was not kind to him, as he was not steeled for the rigor of it.
The letters compiled and annotated here come both from the period of time he was imprisoned in Reading Prison (he was released in May 1897), and from later letters to the editor of the "Daily Chronicle" on the topic of prison reform.
Wilde’s letters give us insight, despite his privations during incarceration, into his wit, critical literary acumen and prose skills. They also open a window into his character, displaying his affection for a great circle of friends and acquaintances.
This compilation of letters has been mediated by hand and compared through human intervention, page by page, against original print versions in order to eliminate character errors typically generated in OCR editions.
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About the Author
The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet who delighted Victorian England with his legendary wit. He found critical and popular success with his scintillating plays, chiefly The Importance of Being Earnest, while his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, scandalized readers. Imprisoned for two years for homosexual behavior, Wilde moved to France after his release, where he died destitute.
Date of Birth:October 16, 1854
Date of Death:November 30, 1900
Place of Birth:Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:Paris, France
Education:The Royal School in Enniskillen, Dublin, 1864; Trinity College, Dublin, 1871; Magdalen College, Oxford, England, 1874