“Brimming with beautiful passages, De Profundis is a profound and inspiring treatise on the meaning of suffering.”


The title of this work/letter expresses best the content “a heartfelt cry of appeal expressing deep feelings of anguish or sorrow”. Oscar Wilde in his own words expresses his deepest anguish at his fall from being, as he puts it best “from the pedestal to the pillory” Humiliated and brought so low to be dressed in prison garb and handcuffed, exposed to the masses to be laughed at and jeered. Imprisoned for two years from May 1895 until May 1897 Wilde not only lost his fortune, his mother and his two sons but also was exiled to France, lost his love for writing and died in some obscure dirty hotel only three years later.

He wrote this letter near the end of his confinement and it’s filled with reflections and hope. He does not ask for pity, nor does he claim to be innocent of all guilt but neither does he take all the burden of what he was found guilty of. I found it to be a most revealing and captivating work. From what I have read I deduced, if any one would have died from a broken heart it would be this man. Unfortunately Wilde died at only aged 46 and it would be another 117 years until he would receive a pardon, that’s something at least. One of the most brilliantly written classics “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, it would be read and appreciated by millions and it’s his lasting legacy. We don’t remember all those that brought him low but we remember the literary genius he was.


Reviewed by:

Diana Long

Added 11th April 2020

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Diana Long