Oscar Wilde sentenced to two years hard labour

Historical Context Note

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Litencyc Editors (Independent Scholar - Europe)

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The Irish writer Oscar Wilde was at the height of his fame, with his most polished play, The Importance of Being Earnest running in London's St James's Theatre, when he became entangled in a series of legal trials that would lead to his imprisonment and fall from public favour. The Marquess of Queensbury (famous for codifying the modern rules of boxing) had a son, Lord Alfred Douglas, who had become Wilde's lover, and encouraged him to dabble in the London underworld of gay prostitution. Queensbury suspected this affair, and blamed Wilde for it, culminating in him leaving a calling card at Wilde's club on 18 February 1895, with the words 'Oscar Wilde, posing sodomite'.

Against his better judgement, Wilde took Queensbury to c…

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Citation: Editors, Litencyc. "Oscar Wilde sentenced to two years hard labour". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5411, accessed 07 February 2023.]

5411 Oscar Wilde sentenced to two years hard labour 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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