Awarded the Newdigate Prize

In Wilde’s final year as a student at Magdalen College at Oxford, he was awarded the Newdigate Prize for his poem “Ravenna”. Established in 1806 as a memorial for Sir Roger Newdigate, The Newdigate Prize is awarded to an Oxford undergraduate for the Best Composition of English verse. Wilde’s seven-part poem is an ode to the titular Italian city, describing a young man’s recollection of experiences. At the start of the poem, the protagonist is excited to view the titular Italian city that was “Where Dante sleeps, where Byron loved to dwell”. Throughout, we follow his observations as he realizes that the city has lost some of its vibrance, yet still retains its beauty as a “poet’s city”. Reciting the poem to an audience upon his reception of the Newdigate Prize was his first introduction to the world outside of Oxford and from here, he began to receive public notoriety.


Vernier, Peter. “‘NEWDIGATE’ PHOTOGRAPHS OF OSCAR WILDE.” The Wildean, no. 10, Oscar Wilde Society, 1997, pp. 49–61,

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