Wilde is released from prison

Oscar Wilde was released from prison after serving almost exactly two years in several facilities. As a part of his sentence, Wilde was expected to perform grueling manual labor for the prison. This constant tension placed on his body had chronic effects on Wilde's life after he was released. His time in prison was a central source of inspiration for his last piece of writing, The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Ultimately, Wilde spent two years occupying three different prisons: he was processed in Newgate Prison in London, moved to Pentonville Prison (where he first ecperienced hard labor), and eventually ended up in Wandsworth Prison (where the hard labor continued). The labor was so intense that Wilde was said to have collapsed at one point, rupturing his ear drum in the process. This injury was never resolved in his lifetime.

The quality of life in prison was said to have damaged Wilde's spirit and physical health so much that there is strong evidence his time there contributed to his untimely death three years later.

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

18 May 1897

Parent Chronology: