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Oscar Wilde is notably celebrated as an artist persecuted for his homosexuality, a martyr for the cause of gay rights.
He was prosecuted for "acts of gross indecency with other male persons," (sodomy) subsequently found guilty, and sentenced to two years hard labor at Reading Gaol prison.
This book provides a first-hand account of the trials.
At this time, homosexuality was both a crime, and a grave societal taboo in Britain.
At his sentencing, the judge remarked: "It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labor for two years."
Wilde served two years, then spent the last three years of his life in exile.
● Contains bonus material: The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s only novel. Translated into virtually every modern language, it has not been out of print since 1890.
Brimming with powerful homoerotic imagery and symbolism, its intensity sustained by roguish irony and moments of exquisite beauty, Wilde’s masterpiece is one of the most profoundly debauched creations in literary history. It has thrilled readers for over one hundred years.
As Publisher’s Weekly noted, “The Picture of Dorian Gray categorically changed Victorian Britain and the landscape of literature. An ostentatious, self-confessed aesthete, known for his wit and intellect, Wilde not only had to endure his prose being labeled "poisonous" and "vulgar," but also suffer its use as evidence in his ensuing trial, resulting in his eventual imprisonment for crimes of "gross indecency."
OSCAR WILDE (1854–1900) was an Irish poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and short story writer. He is perhaps best known for Salomé, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, De Profundis, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. He is considered a literary colossus, and a central figure in the development of the modern novel.
PHILIP DOSSICK is the New York Times critically acclaimed writer and director of the motion picture The P.O.W. He has written for television, including the outstanding drama, Transplant, produced by David Susskind for CBS. His most recent books include Aztecs: Epoch Of Social Revolution, Sex And Dreams, Mark Twain In Seattle, The Naked Citizen: Notes On Privacy In The Twenty-First Century, Raymond Chowder And Bob Skloot Must Die, The Deposition, Vincent Van Gogh: Madness And Magic, Oscar Wilde: Sodomy And Heresy, Abraham Lincoln: 5 Speeches that Changed America, Martin Luther King: 5 Speeches that Changed America, and Nelson Mandela: 5 Speeches that Changed South Africa.