‘He Has Been Mad the Last 3 Years’

J. Robert Maguire

in Ceremonies of Bravery

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199660827
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748929 | DOI:
‘He Has Been Mad the Last 3 Years’

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This chapter recounts the conviction and bankruptcy of Oscar Wilde. While a source of deep distress for Blacker, Wilde’s plight and the dark and unimagined world brought to light in his trials caused Carrie to lose all sympathy for him. Through the early weeks of his imprisonment, his loyal friend Robert Sherard (‘that bravest and most chivalrous of all brilliant beings’, according to Wilde) courageously continued to visit him. His third visit, however, had unintended consequences. The attending warder reported to the governor of Wandsworth that the visitor’s conversation had been of a subversive tendency in suggesting that attention might be drawn to the case by an agitation in the press about the deteriorating state of Wilde’s health. Sherard was found to have abused his visitor’s privilege and the governor recommended that Wilde be removed to a ‘country Prison’. The Prison Commissioners accordingly ordered that Wilde be removed to Reading as soon as his bankruptcy proceedings were concluded.

Keywords: Holloway; Kerley; Queensberry; Freiburg; Galignani; Lorrain; Mendès; Schwob; Huret; Pentonville; Bauër; Wildy; Clifton; Ross; Adey

Chapter.  5534 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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