Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol

An Oscar Wilde portrait, of him reclining on a fur, holding a book.
Wilde’s <em>The Ballad of Reading Gaol</em> 23Oct

125-years of art, culture and progress.

In this talk, Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile (Liverpool John Moores University) will discuss Oscar Wilde’s 1898 poem; The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

He’ll consider its relevance as a work of literary genius and immense cultural importance. The poem is a powerful expression of protest and dissent, contradicting the widely-held belief Wilde emerged from prison in 1897 as a broken man.

Shortly after his release, Wilde wrote to the press condemning the treatment of child prisoners, simultaneously composing this poem, which stands as one of the greatest condemnations of capital punishment ever written.  Deaglán will explain how Wilde emerged from prison, deeply committed to human rights, determined to apply his literary writing to the cause of progress. Additionally, he’ll explore the enduring relevance of Wilde’s ideas on the need for a humane culture and society.


You can read The Ballad of Reading Gaol, here.

Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile portrait (photo).

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Booking Info

Freee, donations welcome.


23 October 2023

2pm start.



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