The definitive edition of Wilde's impassioned letter from Reading Gaol.
Imprisoned in Reading Gaol in 1895 for his homosexuality, Oscar Wilde once defiantly wrote `I don't defend my conduct, I explain it'.
Wilde's notorious liaison with the Marquess of Queensberry's son, Lord Alfred Douglas (`Bosie'), had so inflamed the Marquess that he made public attacks on Wilde's character.
In return, Wilde sued for slander, an action which, to Wilde's bitter astonishment, led to a series of scandalous trials and convictions.
From his cell Oscar Wilde wrote De Profundis, the detailed and unsparing revelation of his love and tragedy.
Each day he wrote a page at the behest of his warden who would then take it.
Only upon his release was he given the full text to read and revise.
This volume comprises the complete text of De Profundis, a letter from Wilde letter to Robert Ross, as well as The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
It also features an essay by W.H. Auden which offers an insightful retrospective on Wilde, the text itself and the genre of epistolary literature more broadly.