'I feel caught in a terrible net. I don't know where to turn. I care less when I think that he is thinking of me. I think of nothing else'
'De Profundis' is an epistolic account of Oscar Wilde's spiritual journey while in prison, and describes his conversion from his previous belief in pleasure and decadence to his new, shocking conviction that 'the supreme vice is shallowness'. This book also includes further letters to his wife, his friends, the Home Secretary and newspaper editors, as well as many to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas - Bosie - himself. 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol', written after Wilde's two year's hard labour in Reading prison and originally published anonymously, is the heart-rending and eye-opening tale of a man who has been sentenced to hang for the murder of the woman he loved.
Colm Tóibín's introduction explores Wilde's family background and his success and reputation prior to his scandalous court case. He also examines Wilde's duality in love, politics and literature, and how his imprisonment affected the perception of his work. This edition also includes notes on the text and suggested further reading.
Edited with an introduction by Colm Tóibín
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854 and was educated in Dublin and Oxford. His three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent, a reputation confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his society comedies - Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. Success, however, was short-lived. In 1891 Wilde had met and fallen extravagantly in love with Lord Alfred Douglas, and he was later sentenced to two years' imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. He was released from prison in 1897 and went into an immediate self-imposed exile on the continent. Wilde died in Paris in ignominy in 1900. Colm Toibin is the author of five novels, including The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, and a collection of stories, Mothers and Sons. His essay collection Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar appeared in 2002. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages. He is the editor of The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction.
'De Profundis' remains Wilde's greatest piece of prose-writing -- Colm Toibin
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 8th February 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1