Ten Beautiful Quotes Oscar Wilde Wrote While He Was In Prison

They’re not the usual lame quotes, they made me think. With photos you may not have seen.

Linda Caroll
7 min readMay 11, 2022


Oscar Wilde committed no crime, yet he did two years hard labor in prison. Locked in a small room, sleeping on a bed of wooden planks.

For a time, he was handcuffed in public at Reading Gaol. People would recognize the fallen star. Mock him. Spit on him. For years, he would cry at that same time every day, remembering that humiliation.

He’d been a rising star. An editor who wrote on the side, hoping to make his writing dreams come true. What writer can’t identify?

And then? Wild success. Four hits in three years. His play, Lady Windermere’s Fan, opened to critical acclaim. Packed theatres and standing ovations.

Then, three more that were wild sensations. A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, which became his biggest runaway success.

Plus, The Picture of Dorian Grey, was rising in popularity.

He was golden.

Then he met Lord Alfred Douglas.

And it all went straight to hell.

Sentenced to hard labor for two years…

Left, Wilde and Lord Douglas // Center, Wilde // Right, News headlines of his conviction // photos from Wikipedia

He’d been married. Had a wife and two sons. Editor of a popular magazine, successful writer and son of a prominent surgeon.

Cupid cares not, they say. So he left his marriage for a new love, and how many have done that without a prison sentence? But his new love was a man. Victorian society did not approve.

His lover’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, publicly accused Wilde of being homosexual. His friends told him to run. Flee to France. Be safe.

But his lover said no. Please. Stay. Fight my father. So we can love freely and not hide. So he filed a charge of libel against his lover’s father.

It was a disaster.



Linda Caroll

Everything is storytelling. I’m at StoryTellerDesign.co I write about writing, marketing & Medium at https://lindac.substack.com/