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The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde By Oscar Wilde

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde


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Summary

Serving prison time with hard labor for the crime of gross indecency, Oscar Wilde wrote some of his most powerful works. A savage indictment of society, and testimony to private sufferings, his prison writings illuminated by Nicholas Frankel's notes reveal a different man from the dandy and aesthete who shocked or amused the English-speaking world.

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde Summary

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde

And I? May I say nothing, my lord? With these words, Oscar Wilde's courtroom trials came to a close. The lord in question, High Court justice Sir Alfred Wills, sent Wilde to the cells, sentenced to two years in prison with hard labor for the crime of gross indecency with other men. As cries of shame emanated from the gallery, the convicted aesthete was roundly silenced.

But he did not remain so. Behind bars and in the period immediately after his release, Wilde wrote two of his most powerful works-the long autobiographical letter De Profundis and an expansive best-selling poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. In The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde, Nicholas Frankel collects these and other prison writings, accompanied by historical illustrations and his rich facing-page annotations. As Frankel shows, Wilde experienced prison conditions designed to break even the toughest spirit, and yet his writings from this period display an imaginative and verbal brilliance left largely intact. Wilde also remained politically steadfast, determined that his writings should inspire improvements to Victorian England's grotesque regimes of punishment. But while his reformist impulse spoke to his moment, Wilde also wrote for eternity.

At once a savage indictment of the society that jailed him and a moving testimony to private sufferings, Wilde's prison writings-illuminated by Frankel's extensive notes-reveal a very different man from the famous dandy and aesthete who shocked and amused the English-speaking world.

The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde Reviews

A welcome gathering of Wilde's most humane work, with choice illustrations, where the self-proclaimed 'lord of language' gives voice to the poor, the disaffected. * Irish Times *
Frankel has...done us a favor to annotate such material with such labor and such learning...Wilde comes out of this volume with all his follies flying as an extraordinarily impressive human being. -- Peter Craven * Sydney Morning Herald *
With headlines of police brutality and judicial immorality as relevant today as back then, creative works which remind audiences of Wilde's timeless moral principles remain vital. -- John L. Murphy * PopMatters *
De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol are canonical Victorian literature, and Frankel's precise and well-informed notes will raise readers' awareness of Wilde's thinking on morality, crime, religion, sexuality, aesthetics, and prison reform. -- Ellis Hanson, Cornell University
Frankel provides a valuable service in comprehensively editing these works for a fresh generation of readers. -- Joseph Bristow, University of California, Los Angeles

About Oscar Wilde

Nicholas Frankel has published many books about Oscar Wilde, including Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years, The Short Stories of Oscar Wilde, The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde, The Invention of Oscar Wilde, and The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition. He is Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Additional information

GOR009736602
9780674984387
0674984382
The Annotated Prison Writings of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Harvard University Press
2018-05-14
370
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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