Reading Gaol, the Prison of Oscar Wilde


Reading Gaol was one of a few prisons where Oscar Wilde was incarcerated after he was convicted of gross indecency (or his homosexuality) with his lover Lord Alfred Douglas. It was here that he wrote much of De Profundis, a long and religiously-charged letter meant for him as much as it was for Douglas. Because of the harsh conditions of his imprisonment, Wilde later wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a tale which advocated for prison reform. This was the last prison Oscar Wilde where was interred: three years after he was released he died, as his health had been declining for several years. In total, he was imprisoned for two years--Reading Gaol for about 18 months.


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