De Profundis and Other Prison Writings (Paperback)
Writing to his former lover while in prison, Oscar Wilde reflects on their unhealthy and destructive relationship, and on the events leading to his imprisonment. Additionally, though, Wilde writes of how he's endured life in prison. With its earnest, vulnerable emotion, De Profundis gives insight into Wilde not easily found in his more witty and ironical works.— From Austin
A definitive new collection of Oscar Wilde’s best prison letters and poetry, with an introduction by Colm Toibin
Bankrupt and with his reputation in ruins, Oscar Wilde wrote the astonishing letter “De Profundis” to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, while in prison. Editor Colm Toibin, the acclaimed author of The Blackwater Lightship, The Master, and Brooklyn, describes it as Wilde’s “greatest piece of prose writing.” Also included is “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Wilde’s most famous poem and one of the greatest ballads in the English language, as well as other letters Wilde wrote from prison that reveal the true effects of incarceration on the people he met. Based on the Penguin Classics edition of the Complete Letters, this collection features a new introduction, notes, and appendices.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish writer, poet, and playwright. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, brought him lasting recognition, and he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era with a series of witty social satires, including his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Colm Toibin is the author of The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, among other books. He lives in Dublin.