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Oscar Wilde arrested Oscar Wilde arrested
by The Ovi Team
2021-04-06 09:28:30
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April 6th 1895; Writer Oscar Wilde is arrested after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.

oscar01_400Wilde had been engaged in an affair with the marquess's son since 1891, but when the outraged marquess denounced him as a homosexual, Wilde sued the man for libel. However, he lost his case when evidence strongly supported the marquess's observations. Homosexuality was classified as a crime in England at the time, and Wilde was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to two years of hard labor.

Wilde was a well-known author by this time, having produced several brilliant and popular plays, including The Importance of Being Ernest (1895). Born and educated in Ireland, he came to England to attend Oxford, where he graduated with honors in 1878. A popular society figure known for his wit and flamboyant style, he published his own book of poems in 1881. He spent a year lecturing on poetry in the U.S., where his dapper wardrobe and excessive devotion to art drew ridicule from some quarters.

After returning to Britain, Wilde married and had two children, for whom he wrote delightful fairy tales, which were published in 1888. Meanwhile, he wrote reviews and edited Women's World. In 1890, his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published serially, appearing in book form the following year. He wrote his first play, The Duchess of Padua, in 1891 and wrote five more before his arrest. Wilde was released from prison in 1897 and fled to Paris, where his many loyal friends visited him. He started writing again, producing The Ballad of Reading Gaol, based on his experiences in prison. He died of acute meningitis in 1900.


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Emanuel Paparella2013-04-06 15:09:40
With Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality as reported above we are back to the confusion apparent in The New Yorker magazine as pointed out by Dr. Nannery recently: two articles published in the same issue: one lamenting the lingering prejudices against homosexuals and same sex marriage and homosexuality in general and another lamenting the seduction and sexual abuses of under-age choir boys by some in the Catholic clergy. It will be promptly pointed out that the solution to the conundrum resides in freedom and consent among adults, which explains the law of statutory rape against those who have sex with minors of either gender.

But to return to Wilde, it is an undisputed fact that Wilde, even as a married man, was attracted and did have sex with under age boys. So one would have to conclude that while the puritan and prude Victorians may have had a prejudice against homosexuality, they acted quite ethically and correctly when they prosecuted Oscar Wilde, found him guilty and punished him with several years of hard labor.

I remain curious as to what those who have been bashing selectively the clergy of the Catholic Church (to the exclusion of that of other denominations) would have to comment about Wilde’s sentence vis a vis the present Pope’s recent pronouncements to repair the severe damage done to the Church by offending priests and punish severely to the full extent of the law those priests who violate in any way their vow of celibacy. We heard nothing about that by the usual bashers and slanderers who would like to egregiously and falsly suggest that if not all, most of the Catholic Church in engaged in sexual crimes.

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