Playwright Oscar Wilde is taken toReading Gaolin London after becoming convicted of sodomy. The famed author of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought focus on his private life in a feud with Sir John Sholto Douglas, whose son was intimately associated with Wilde.
Homosexuality was a offense and severe societal taboo at the moment in Britain. Wilde had opted backwards and forwards between hiding his sexual orientation and wanting to obtain some way of measuring public acceptance. After Douglas, a furious homophobe, started spouting his objections to Wilde’s behavior to the general public, Wilde felt compelled to suehim for libel.
In his defense,Douglas argued that Wilde had solicited 12 boys to commit sodomy among 1892 and 1894. On the 3rd day of the proceedings, Wilde’s lawyer withdrew the suit, due to the fact there is abundant proof his client’s guilt. After that, the Crown issued a warrant for Wilde’s arrest on indecency charges. Rather than flee to France, Wilde made a decision to stay and stand trial. At an initial bail hearing, chambermaids testified they had observed young males in Wilde’s bed and a hotel housekeeper stated that there were fecal stains on his bed linens. Wilde was denied bail.
At Wilde’s initial criminal trial, he was cross-examined extensively on the “love that dare not speak its name.” Wilde were able to safe a mistrial whenever a lone juror refused to vote to convict. The second trial began on May 21. Although plenty of of the possible witnesses refused to betray Wilde by testifying, he was convicted. The judge remarked at his sentencing, “It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labor for two years.”
Wilde served his 2 yrs and spent the ultimate 3 years of his life in exile. He died at age 45 and was buried in Paris.