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Record 25763

Reading Experience:

Books read by Oscar Wilde in Pentonville and Wandsworth Prisons, June - November 1895: St Augustine, "Confessions" and "De Civitate Dei"; Pascal, "Pensees" and "Provincial Letters"; Walter Pater, "Studies in the History of the Renaissance"; T. Mommsen, "The History of Rome" (5 vols); Cardinal Newman, "The Grammar of Ascent", "Apologia Pro Vita Sua", "Two Essays on Miracles" and "The Idea of a University".
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jun 1892 and 21 Nov 1895
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
specific address: Pentonville and Wandsworth Prisons
location in dwelling: Cell
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Oscar Wilde
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 16 Oct 1854
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Ireland
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: John Henry Newman
Title: Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Genre: Other religious, Autobiog / Diary
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (institution library)
borrowed from prison libraries, though specially ordered for Oscar Wilde by Liberal MP Richard Haldane


Source Information:

Record ID: 25763  
Source - Print  
  Author: Thomas Wright
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Oscar's Books
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 2008
  Vol: n/a
  Page: Appendix IIa, p.319
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Thomas Wright, Oscar's Books (London, 2008), p. Appendix IIa, p.319,, accessed: 27 February 2024

Additional comments:

Source author explains: '[Richard] Haldane purchased all the selected volumes, perhaps with the financial help of Lady Brooke, and sent them to Pentonville. Although Wilde had yet to serve three months of his sentence, the books were issued to him at the rate of one title per week...' (pp. 244)Wilde read and re-read everything that was available to him.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)