But above all it is Oscar Wilde and The Ballad of Reading Gaol that permeate and inform this book as the author seeks to combine information about the prison with frequently telling explanations that all too often converge with the more universal nerve that was touched upon by one of literature's greatest creative minds - making Pit of Shame a book for every Wilde aficionado, penal reformer and student of English literature. With a special 16 page collection of photographs which illustrate life in Reading Gaol and some of its prisoners.
'You won't put it down' Henry Kelly, Irish Times.
'Contains fascinating details about Wilde's isolation in prison': Studies in English Literature.
'Packed with little gems of fact...painting at times a horrific but nonetheless complete picture of life in the prison through the ages': Inside Time.
Anthony Stokes was born and educated in Cardiff , South Wales where he joined HM Prison Service at Cardiff Prison in 1988. After training at the Prison Service Training College at Newbold Revel in Warwickshire he was posted to Reading Prison in Berkshire where he is now a Senior Prison Officer. He holds a Certificate in Education (Further Education) from Reading University, is a Member of the Institute of Carpenters and a fully qualified prison locksmith. He has been twice commended: by HM Prison Service, after he saved the life of a prisoner (1992); and by the Director General of HM Prison Service, for his part in helping to quell the riot that took place at Reading Prison on Boxing Day 1992 and which is described in Chapter 11 (1993). In 2003, his ground-breaking work in setting up a Vocational Training Department at Reading led to his being nominated for a Butler Trust Award, one of the highest in this field. He lives in Berkshire with his wife, Jacqui and two children and spends what spare time he can sailing in his dinghy off England's South Coast.