Written from Wilde's prison cell at Reading Gaol to his friend and lover Lord Alfred Douglas, "De Profundis" explodes the conventions of the traditional love letter and offers a scathing indictment of Douglas's behavior, a mournful elegy for Wilde's own lost greatness, and an impassioned plea for reconciliation. At once a bracingly honest account of ruinous attachment and a profound meditation on human suffering, "De Profundis" is a classic of gay literature. Richard Ellmann calls "De Profundis" "a love letter...One of the greatest, and the longest, ever written."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains newly commissioned notes.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish-born poet, dramatist, and novelist. His works include collections of fairy stories; the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray; and many brilliantly witty plays, including what is often considered to be his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Richard Ellmann was Goldsmiths Professor at Oxford University and Woodruff Professor at Emory University. He achieved world fame for his biography of Joyce and wrote many scholarly and critical works, including two on Yeats.
"Displays the insight, honesty, and unself-conscious style of a great writer."
--W. H. Auden