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Oscar Wilde’s Sentence. 122 Years On.

May 25, 2016



One hundred and twenty one years ago today, Justice Wills (a keen mountaineer apropos of nothing), sentenced Oscar Wilde to two years hard labour while expressing his disappointment that two years was all he had on offer.  “Totally inadequate” were the words he used.

We’re 121 years away from that moment and one year away from a same sex marriage referendum result in Oscar Wilde’s homeland. A striking thought.  Wilde would never have married Bosie, but he might have married Robbie Ross – an Irish-Canadian alliance rich with political and literary possibilities.

(There have of course, been campaigns to pardon Wilde, to make some kind of formal symbolic atonement for the wrongs done him. Pardoning people like Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing has more to do with easing a sense of societal guilt, but of course singling out people like Wilde and Turing threatens to obscure all the other victims of…

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