Oscar Wilde wrote I dont defend my conduct, I explain it, when he was imprisoned in Reading Gaol in 1895 for his violation of Englands stringent laws against homosexuality. Wildes nototious liaison with the Marquess of Queensberrys son, Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie), had so inflamed the Marquess that he made public attacks on Wildes character and morals. In return, Wilde sued for slader, an action which, to Wildes bitter astonishment, led to a series of scandalous trials and convictions.
From his cell in prison, Oscar Wilde wrote De Profundis, the detailed and unsparing revelation of his love and tragedy. With a major feature film biography scheduled for release and the current tremendous success of the long-running play Gross Indecency The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, the text of this remarkable document with the Hart-Davis notes is uniquely relevant. This volume alone provides the entire content of De Profundis; W.
H. Audens famous essay in The New Yorker further sets the stage.