The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde's mother was Jane Wilde, née Elgee, a contributor to the Dublin Nation and a literary salon host in her own right. Like his mother, Wilde was a supporter of Home Rule and Charles Stewart Parnell. Equally proud of his birthright, he retained enough Irish to sing Gaelic lullabies to his children. After two harrowing years in prison (1895-97), Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol was published anonymously in February 1898, under his cell number 'C.3.3.' This very personal 'cry for common justice and brotherhood' (Chesterton, 1913) not only reflected on Trooper Wooldridge, whose fate was the catalyst for the poem, but also on the general suffering and oppression faced by the Irish nation. This edition is illustrated by Arthur Wragg.