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De Profundis: The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Writings Paperback – December 5, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Wordsworth Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (December 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840224010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840224016
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford where, a disciple of Pater, he founded an aesthetic cult. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and his two sons were born in 1885 and 1886.
His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), established his reputation. In 1895, following his libel action against the Marquess of Queesberry, Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for homosexual conduct, as a result of which he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and his confessional letter De Profundis (1905). On his release from prison in 1897 he lived in obscurity in Europe, and died in Paris in 1900.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By adam cheney on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This edition contains the two best pieces of Wilde's writing. The poem "Ballad" is strong in its sense of poetry and imagery without being sing-songy. De Profundis, while a little difficult to wade through at certain points, simply captures many of life's truths and sets them down in the written word, to be studied, remembered and savored all at once.
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By Tyler B. on April 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this after a bad breakup. Bring a bottle of good Scotch and a few boxes of Kleenex. Good heavens...
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By K. Ferguson on August 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
perfect for my sons class
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. P. Jay on July 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Wilde lived on the edge, "feasting with panthers," and enjoying the risk: "the danger was half the excitement."...I wanted to eat of the fruit of all the trees in the garden of the world... And so, indeed, I went out, and so I lived. My only mistake was that I confined myself so exclusively to the trees of what seemed to me the sun-lit side of the garden, and shunned the other side for its shadow and its gloom.

Ballad of Reading Gaol The title comes from the Latin beginning of Psalm 130 where the writer laments out of the depth of his despair. Sublime though the writing is, one cannot help feel that it is a very long whinge. Also it lacks the pithy and comic phrases that pepper most of his other work. We don't know whether it ever reached Bosie bit had it been addressed to me I would have been shamed to discover that it had later been published for all to see: Each man kills the thing he loves, the coward does it with a kiss; who lives more lives than one must die more deaths; there was no chapel on a day of hanging, no cross of requiem on murder's grave
The Decay of Lying: Everyone who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching; Dullards are consistent; Lying - politicians; Life imitates art, not the other way round; Mrs. Arundel is a philistine because she wants him to admire a sunset; No great artist sees things as they really are or he'd cease to be an artist; the C of E is full of sceptics who don't believe Noah or Jonah; `We (sic) have talked long enough'
The Critic as Artist part 1: There are some acute observations here and in part two, often expressed wittily.
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