Author: Gyles Brandreth
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-05-14
In this new installment in the engaging mystery series Booklist called “pitch-perfect” and “enthralling”—currently in development as a BBC television series—the incomparable playwright, novelist, raconteur, and now ex-convict Oscar Wilde faces his most fiendishly puzzling case yet. Oscar Wilde has fled to France after his release from Reading Gaol. Tonight he is sharing a drink and the story of his cruel imprisonment with a mysterious stranger. Oscar has endured the treadmill, solitary confinement, censored letters, no writing materials. Yet even in the midst of such deprivation, his astonishing detective powers remain undiminished—and when first a brutal warder and then the prison chaplain are found murdered, who else should the governor turn to for help other than Reading Gaol’s most celebrated inmate?
Author: Gyles Brandreth
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-05-08
Oscar Wilde makes a triumphant return to sleuthing in the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed historical murder mystery series based on real events, featuring Wilde as the detective aided by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, and written by a premier British biographer. Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders opens in 1892, as an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle retires to a spa in Germany with a suitcase full of fan mail. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries among the letters—a finger; a lock of hair; and, finally, an entire severed hand. The trail leads the intrepid duo to Rome, and to a case that involves miracles as well as murder. Pope Pius IX has just died—these are uncertain times in the Eternal City. To uncover the mystery and discover why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Wilde and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church and expose the deadly secrets of the six men closest to the pope. In Gyles Brandreth’s captivating and richly atmospheric novel, Wilde’s skills as a detective are put to the test in his most compelling case yet.
The latest in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle. Paris, 1883. Oscar Wilde, aged twenty-seven, has come to the city of decadence to discover its charms, to rekindle his friendship with the divine Sarah Bernhardt and to collaborate with France's most celebrated actor-manager, Edmond La Grange. Oscar discovers dark secrets lying at the heart of the La Grange company, and is confronted by murders both foul and bizarre. To solve the crimes, to unravel the mystery, Oscar risks his life -- and his reputation -- embarking on a dangerous adventure that takes him from bohemian night clubs to an asylum for the insane, from a duel in the Buttes de Chaumont to the gates of Reading Gaol.
Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2010-04-01
This poem - originally published anonymously, written after Wilde's two year's hard labour in Reading prison - is the tale of a man who has been sentenced to hang for the murder of the woman he loved. The Ballad of Reading Gaol follows the inmate through his final three weeks, as he stares at the sky and silently drinks his beer ration. Heart-wrenching and eye-opening, the ballad also expresses perfectly Wilde's belief that humanity is made up only of offenders, each of us deserving a greater charity for the severity of our crimes.
Author: Bright Summaries
Release Date: 2019-04-03
Genre: Study Aids
Unlock the more straightforward side of The Ballad of Reading Gaol with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde, a long-form poem based on his own experiences as an inmate in Reading Gaol. Drawing on classical and religious motifs, the poem paints a vivid portrait of the injustices of the late Victorian prison system, focusing on the character of an unnamed soldier who has been sentenced to death for a crime the narrator of the poem claims all people are guilty of in the ballad’s most famous refrain: “each man kills the thing he loves”. Oscar Wilde was one of the most fascinating authors of the 19th century, known as much for his witticisms as for his writing. His most notable works include the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the comic plays An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. Find out everything you need to know about The Ballad of Reading Gaol in a fraction of the time! This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you on your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. See the very best of literature in a whole new light with BrightSummaries.com!
London, 1889. Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age. All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark, stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder. With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime -- but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms and the bohemian demi-monde to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in their investigation of what turns out to be a series of brutal killings. The Oscar Wilde Murders is a gripping detective story of corruption and intrigue, of Wilde's growing success, of the breakdown of his marriage, and of his fatal friendship with Aidan Fraser, Inspector at Scotland Yard...Set against the exotic background of fin-de-siecle London, Paris, Oxford and Edinburgh, Gyles Brandreth recreates Oscar Wilde's trademark sardonic wit with huge flair, intertwining all the intrigue of the classic English murder mystery with a compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.
Author: Anthony Stokes
Publisher: Waterside Press
Release Date: 2007-01
'I know not whether Laws be right, Or whether Laws be wrong; All that we know who lie in gaol Is that the wall is strong; And that each day is like a year, A year whose days are long.' Oscar Wilde (The Ballad of Reading Gaol) This unique work looks closely at the life and times of Reading Gaol prison during the period that Oscar Wilde was a prisoner there. The book also contains a number of new insights concerning Wilde's classic poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and offers fresh information about Oscar Wilde. Written by senior prison officer Anthony Stokes, Pit of Shame is based on upwards of ten years research and familiarity with the very fabric of Reading Gaol. It also tells of notorious and famous prisoners such as Thomas Jennings, Amelia Dyer (the 'Reading Baby Farmer') and actor Stacey Keach; examines the many hangings that took place at Reading over the years, including that of Trooper Charles Thomas Wooldridge — the 'C. T. W.' of Wilde's ballad; lists the chain of events that led to the rejection of capital punishment by the UK; and mentions the escapes, brutality, and corruption that took place. Anthony Stoke's compelling account outlines the rich and diverse history of this most famous of English prisons and tells of its many different and intriguing uses over the years, before Reading Gaol's modern-day reincarnation as an innovative and progressive young offender institution. There are chapters on internment in the wake of Ireland's Easter Rising, Reading's role as a local prison and borstal correctional center, and its use by the Canadian military for 'invisible prisoners.' All this is enhanced by fascinating period detail from archives, newspapers, and records. The appendices include a list of all executions at Reading Gaol, the historic Dietary Requirements, and Prison Rules. The 16 pages of illustrations include photographs and drawings of the prison and the hand-written entry in the Visiting Committee book concerning an ill-fated petition by Oscar Wilde to the Home Secretary; as well as that in the Execution Log for Charles Thomas Wooldridge.
Author: Gyles Brandreth
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2015-08-06
Genre: Games & Activities
'No matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor but honest.' Only words can do that. Words are magic. Words are fun. Join Gyles Brandreth - wit and word-meister, Just A Minute regular, One Show reporter, denizen of Countdown's Dictionary Corner, founder of the National Scrabble Championships, patron of The Queen's English Society, QI, Room 101, Have I Got News For You and Pointless survivor - on an uproarious and unexpected magic carpet ride around the awesome world of words and wordplay. Puns, palindromes, pangrams, Malaprops, euphemisms, mnemonics, acronyms, anagrams, alphabeticals, Tweets, verbiage, verbarrhea - if you can name it, you should find it here, along with the longest, shortest, wittiest, wildest, oldest, latest, oddest, most interesting and most memorable words in the English language - the richest, most remarkable language ever known.
'I see murder in this unhappy hand...' When Mrs Robinson, palmist to the Prince of Wales, reads Oscar Wilde's palm she cannot know what she has predicted. Nor can Oscar know what he has set in motion when, that same evening, he proposes a game of 'Murder' in which each of his Sunday Supper Club guests must write down those whom they would like to kill. For the fourteen 'victims' begin to die mysteriously, one by one, and in the order in which their names were drawn from the bag...With growing horror, Wilde and his confidantes Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle, realise that one of their guests that evening must be the murderer. In a race against time, Wilde will need all his powers of deduction and knowledge of human behaviour before he himself -- the thirteenth name on the list -- becomes the killer's next victim.
In OSCAR WILDE AND THE NEST OF VIPERS, the fourth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, the Prince of Wales asks Oscar to investigate a scandalous crime at the very heart of Victorian high society. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith The story opens in the spring of 1890 at a glamorous reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. All London's haut monde is there, including the Prince of Wales, who counts the Albemarles as close friends. Although it is the first time Oscar and Bertie have met, Oscar seems far more interested in Rex LaSalle, a young actor, who disarmingly claims to be a vampire. However, what begins as a diverting evening ends in tragedy. As the guests are leaving, the Duchess is found murdered, two tiny puncture marks in her throat. No one has entered the house; no one has left. Desperate to avoid another scandal, the Prince of Wales asks Oscar to investigate the crime. What he discovers threatens to destroy the very heart of the Royal Family.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years of hard labor as punishment for having engaged in homosexual acts. While serving out his sentence at Reading Gaol in Berkshire, Wilde witnessed the execution by hanging of a young soldier who had murdered his wife by slashing her throat. Profoundly shaken by the execution and the crime that preceded it, Wilde composed this elegiac poem centered on the haunting refrain, "Yet each man kills the thing he loves."
Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-01-03
Genre: Literary Collections
De Profundis and Other Prison Writings is a new selection of Oscar Wilde's prison letters and poetry in Penguin Classics, edited and introduced by Colm Tóibín. At the start of 1895, Oscar Wilde was the toast of London, widely feted for his most recent stage success, An Ideal Husband. But by May of the same year, Wilde was in Reading prison sentenced to hard labour. 'De Profundis' is an epistolic account of Oscar Wilde's spiritual journey while in prison, and describes his new, shocking conviction that 'the supreme vice is shallowness'. This edition also includes further letters to his wife, his friends, the Home Secretary, newspaper editors and his lover Lord Alfred Douglas - Bosie - himself, as well as 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol', the heart-rending poem about a man sentenced to hang for the murder of the woman he loved. This Penguin edition is based on the definitive Complete Letters, edited by Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland. Colm Tóibín's introduction explores Wilde's duality in love, politics and literature. This edition also includes notes on the text and suggested further reading. Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin. His three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, won him a reputation as a writer with an original talent, a reputation enhanced by the phenomenal success of his society comedies - Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. Colm Tóibín is the author of five novels, including The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, and a collection of stories, Mothers and Sons. His essay collection Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar appeared in 2002. He is the editor of The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction.
Three sets of ocean liners, each destined to be of three vessels, dominated the Atlantic in the Edwardian era. The race to build the biggest and the best began with Mauretania and Lusitania in 1906, followed by the White Star Line's Olympic and Titanic in 1911-12. Each of these pairs was to see a larger sister, developed as a result of changes needed or desired as a result of operating the two earlier vessels, with Cunard's being Aquitania and White Star's, the ill-fated Britannic. Germany's answer to these British behemoths was the Albert-Ballin designed trio of Imperator, Vaterland and Bismarck. Through misfortune or war, two of these vessels would sink but the others led useful lives, with Aquitania surviving two world wars before being scrapped. Designed to be the absolute engineering achievements of their time, these nine vessels dominated the Atlantic. J. Kent Layton tells the story of the Edwardian Superliners in this fabulously illustrated volume, showcasing many images previously unpublished and never before seen. Rarely can one describe a book as definitive, but this volume truly deserves the accolade.
Author: Jane Monckton-Smith
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Release Date: 2012-05-09
This volume is a shocking insight into the way the idea of romantic love can justify and excuse the killing of women by their spouses and partners, and lead to sympathy and reduced prison sentences for the killers. The author explores how stories of domestic homicide and love are told in the news, by the police, and in the courts, drawing from the reporting of 72 cases which happened in just one twelve month period. The findings make compelling reading and are important in understanding how we respond to domestic abuse and violence more generally, making clear the need to listen to victims more closely both before and after death. The book also includes a personal account of the aftermath of a double murder which was pivotal to the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews in the UK in April 2011.