November 25, 2016

Thursday group reading on sexual crime sources

Please could you look at the following sources:

James - Remedies for the Wrongs of Woman

Yetunde - Bodeleian ballads (choose 2 or 3)

Zoe - A brief explanation...

Izzy - Contagious Diseases Act and summons

Amie - Butler

Louisa - Bodleian ballads (choose 2 or 3)

Abi - Acton

Aksana - Hansard on CD Acts

Aleemat - Stead

Oliver R-J - Power Cobbe

Mikka - Logan

Charlotte - trials of Oscar Wilde

Blessing - Old Bailey trials (choose 2 or 3)

Oliver B - Greenwood

Sarah


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  1. This bill was proposed by Mr Spooner and Lord R Grosvenor in 1847 to the House of Commons. It was rejected- 7 in favor, 60 against.

    • Split into problems with current law, and suggestions for improvement
    • Problems
    • Mentions rape law and says ‘to no other case of injury does the law extend’- it does not protect female children over 12, says the law allows it as if ‘it were a common trade’
    • Says law doenst protect women but protects men from temptations of prostitution
    • Says the law surpressing brothels just results in changing the brothel’s location. The penalties don’t deter.
    • Says prosecutions, because they are expensive and money comes from parish, are exception instead of rule. Depends on someone having money and motivation to supress it.
    • Calls the law ‘a dead letter’
    • Says force is often used in prostitution but never hear about prosecutions for rape here
    • Says women aren’t protected from ‘the arts of the procurer’ and therefore must go to the root of the system, the bortherl keeper who’s interest is to employ the procurer (someone who obtains a prostitute for someone else)
    • Solution
    • Says the law must state the trade of the procurer to be criminal as well as the brothel keeper
    • Says this is necessary for practical purposes
    • Legislation must not necessarily focus on just suppressing prostitution
    • Says it has been an object of the framers of the new bill to increase the purity and security of the domestic circle (the family)
    • Says any parent with young girls who encourage fornication must be treated same as brothel keepers. Says there is a positive duty to prevent prostitution
    • Repeats the ‘importance of keeping the family circle unpolluted’
    • Says sometimes children of families go into prostitution in the ‘lower orders’ to get more income
    • To solve should give kids a good moral education
    • The law should clearly define brothel keeper instead of leaving it to interpretation of magistrates. At the moment the old bill said that a brothel was a place under the control of a mistress or master where illicit activity is promoted
    o Gives example of what if there is no brothel keeper in a brothel and how the law can’t sort this
    • Says it should about the surpression of traders in seduction and prostitution of others
    • Says can’t just supress brothels; it does nothing to reduce number of prostitutes and instead adds recklessness and misery to ‘these unfortunate women’
    • ‘prostituion is to be tolerated’ but by going after the hirers of prostitutes and not the brothel keeper and not the prosititutes themselves is an improvement
    o It prevents ‘merciless control over these women’, the ‘gains from their misery’
    • Says even when a woman has been unfortunate enough to become a prostitute, something shall be done to induce greater prudence, by entailing upon her the necessity of self-dependence (instead of on the brothel)
    • Convicts are to be imprisoned for up to 3 months, for second offence 6 months, third 2 years
    • Says the law is beneficial for prostitues because it gives them the power over their brothel keeper by threat of informing
    • Calls prostitution ‘the most degrading slavery’ and says at present they have lost all prudence and independence
    • Says a law which is enacted quickly will stop the brothel keeper from being continually replaced whilst trials take place, and instead will ‘weary out the brothel keeper’ through constant and quick prosecution
    • Says a brothel keeper should be defined as anyone who shares profits of a brothel
    • Says another key object is to ‘raise the character and condition of the prostitute, and to secure her from becoming prey’

    28 Nov 2016, 13:36

  2. Contagious Diseases Act (1864)
    • Prevention of Contagious Diseases at certain Naval and Military stations – to prevent the spreading of certain contagious diseases
    • Contagious Disease = venereal disease
    • Public Place = a thoroughfare, public street or place, House or room which is open to the inspection of the police, or any Brothel.
    • The Act only applies to the specified regions
    • The Admiralty and Secretary of State for War will appoint a Superior Medical Officer of the Navy or the Army to be the Inspector of Hospitals
    • Hospitals to be examined and reported on its condition. The Inspector shall visit from time to time and inspect every certified hospital.
    • The Inspector has the power to withdraw a hospital’s certificate if it does not reach certain requirements and standards.
    • A notice which grants or withdraws a certificate to any hospital under this Act, will be published in the London or Dublin Gazette
    • A notice will be issued by a Constable or other Peace Officer, to a woman suspected of having a contagious disease, either personally or by leaving it with someone for her to receive at her last or usual place of abode.
    • Medical Examination – If the woman appears herself or by some person on her behalf at the time and place specified within the notice OR if she does not appear, the Justice may order such woman to be taken to a certified hospital for medical examination.
    • The order is a sufficient warrant for any Constable or Peace Officer to apprehend such woman and take her to the hospital to be examined by a Medical Officer for the purpose of determining for sure whether she has a contagious disease or not, and then they are able to detain her in the hospital for 24 hours.
    • The woman may be detained for medical treatment in hospital – once it has been ascertained that she has a contagious disease, the Justice can order for her to be detained at the hospital for medical treatment until discharged by authorities.
    • Penalty for refusing to be examined or to conform to the rules or quitting hospital – If any woman refuses examination or detainment in a certified hospital for medical treatment, or neglects to conform to regulations, or quits the hospital without being discharged then she shall be guilty of an offence against this Act. The conviction will be liable to imprisonment of up to one month, if this is a second or subsequent offence the term will extend to up to two months.
    • If the owner, manager, assistant in management or occupier of a house, room or place which this Act applies induces or knowingly accommodates a prostitute with a contagious disease for the purpose of prostitution, each person will be guilty of an offence against this Act. Conviction will be liable to a penalty of up to £10 or imprisonment of up to three months, with or without hard labour.
    • They will be tried in the county where the fact was committed and it process will commence within three months after the fact was committed. The notice will be given to the defendant at least one month before the commencement of action.

    29 Nov 2016, 15:59

  3. Summons from Contagious Diseases Act (1871)
    • A record of the number of women summoned before magistrates in the districts where the contagious diseases act is in force. It also gives the number of orders of imprisonment, specifying the period/length of the sentence served.
    • Spanning across the period from 30 June 1870-30 June 1871
    • Number summoned for refusing to attend or absenting themselves from medical examination
    • Portsmouth, Aldershot, Windsor and Gravesend experienced no issues with offences against the act within this period
    • Devonport, Canterbury and Southampton experienced the most cases of offence towards the act
    • The total number of women who did not attend medical examination, and thus were proceeded against: 205
    • More women were sentenced to 7 days imprisonment for absence in a medical examination than 10 or 21 days
    • The most common length imprisonment sentence for women who did not attend medical examination was 14 days
    • It was a noticeably frequent occurrence that if a woman subsequently did attend medical examination, their sentence would either not be enforced or reduced

    29 Nov 2016, 15:59

  4. Aleema Salami

    Stead, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon
    • The Maiden tribute of Modern Babylon was an expose published in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1885, written by William Thomas Stead and
    • It exposed, in graphic detail, the “entrapment, abduction and sale of young underprivileged girls to London brothels
    • The expose was published in successive installments and following it’s publication sensational publications reprinted the story with sensational headlines
    o “The Violation of Virgins” and “Strapping Girls Down”
    o As a result, London society was plunged into a moral panic and therefore caused the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16
    • However, the investigative methods used by Stead and his colleagues later led to a trial
    o Stead went to prison for three months for abduction.
    • The various instalments themselves were preceded by a “Notice to Our Readers: A Frank Warning”
    o Stating that is becomes their duty to publish these narratives because of the failure of the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment in the Houses of Parliament
    • It is concluded with a message “To Our Censors”
    o Saying that, despite censorship the message was spread through the country and indeed overseas
    • It discusses the various places e.g. W H Smith who would not publish and how some Liberal members of the House have not yet spoken up against this censorship
    o In the end they conclude that they will not name names and point fingers but if “once we are actually driven to bay we shall be compelled by the very action of our assailants to speak out and spare not”
    • There are subsections within the various articles of the expose revealing information on everything from how the girls were abducted and sold to examples of accounts from the lives of these girls

    30 Nov 2016, 20:49

  5. Amie Sleigh

    Josephine Elizabeth Grey Butler – The Constitution Violated: An Essay (1871)
    • Argues the medical case and statistical case for the Contagious Diseases Acts have been well made.
    • The moral case has also been made, and has been dominated by religion.
    • However, no one yet has made the constitutional case in opposition.
    • Butler considers the Magna Carta, Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights to be the Bible of the English Constitution.
    • Clause 39 of the Magna Carta clearly states that no freeman should be taken, imprisoned, outlawed or banished – this leads Butler to suggest Contagious Diseases Acts are unconstitutional, as the legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. The women were then subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in what was known as a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence finished.
    • Butler suggests if we go back on these promises we are reverting to antiquity. Not a progressive move.
    • English liberty depends on jury trial. Women suspected of prostitution and venereal disease are not given this basic English right.
    • Argues these Acts don’t apply just to the Army and Navy, as they suggest, they apply to the whole civilian population also.
    P24 Clause 4 of the 1869 Act states that a police officer may search a woman if he suspects she’s been in the company of men. The Act uses the term ‘men’ rather than sailors or soldiers.
    P26 unconstitutional because it is trial without jury.
    P26-27 believes this Act places a woman’s honour in the hand of one judge, a police officer. This judgement will stay with her forever.
    P27 the Magna Carter – ‘we will condemn no one except by the judgement of his peers’
    P30 the honour of a woman is her only capital.
    P33 suggests that false accusations regarding a woman’s honour is likely to occur. Highlights that Christian countries no longer define an unchastised woman as a criminal because there are too many false accusations to consider this illegal. Some enlightened communities also appreciate that this penalty is only applied to women, and not men, and chose to not continue it for this reason.
    P34 the Act requires no witness against woman except the police man. The honour of a woman is therefore decided by two men. The police man and the justice of the peace.
    P38 alludes that these Acts will hurt working class women.
    P39 is concerned that a woman may be accused for purely running an errand at night.
    P40 police are actually given directions to keep an ‘eye-out’ for domestic servants and other working class professions.
    P41 when the class question was raise, it was suggested the question was too unpleasant for public discussion.
    P43 believes the present, the time of this Act, places the country in crisis, a crisis as great as any other in the past.
    P44 Butler suggests she has made this case to working class men who have replied ‘impossible!’ – shows male working class support against the acts also – furthers idea of class issue.

    30 Nov 2016, 22:47

  6. Remedies for the Wrongs of Women 1884
    • Starts off with a shocking story about a girl who went off to live with her dad in London but got lost on the trip there and was eventually captured into the sex trade, and within three weeks due to her poor living conditions etc. was dead.
    • Most focused on the prostitution of women, but there are other countless discussions of other ways women are mistreated within society
    • Quite a jumbled up confusing document → basically you could summarise the document as a collection of different bodies such as pressure groups (societies) and legal minutes from the House of Lords and the House of Commons on suggestions proposed to remedy ‘the wrongs of women’ in the Victorian Era.
    • They make reference to policing seduction, as the seducer is just as guilty as the prostitute herself, but they recognise this is difficult to police as it is a human characteristic.
    • There is mentions to class elements of prostitution throughout the document → idea that sex trade is carried out mainly by the upper-middle classes, as they require property to house brothels and they seduce women of a desperate and low circumstance into the trade. ‘Seduced by persons of a superior status to them.’

    30 Nov 2016, 22:52

  7. James Greenwood, The Seven Curses of London (1869), Part IV, Chapters 16-19
    Part 4 – Fallen Women

    Chapter 16 – This Curse

    • Discusses the regulation of prostitution and argues the problems would be worse under its regulation.
    • “to take this species of vice under legal regulation is to give it, in the public eye, a species of legal sanction.”
    • There is a blame towards the authorities who have not dealt with the issue of prostitution thoroughly enough and now are not in a position to do so at all.
    • “By an attempt to regulate and control them, the authorities would confess nothing more than they already in act acknowledge, viz, their desire to mitigate an evil which they have discovered their incompetency to suppress.”
    • There is a huge disdain for prostitutes in the writing. Greenwood assumes prostitutes feel as vile as they look from his perspective, a woman who “wallows in vice and mire.”
    • There is discussion of events in the brothels, frequented by young men and the prostitutes (from Greenwoods perspective) look to be enjoying the attention.
    • There are extracts taken from a visit by a Mr Acton to one of the brothels. He talks about the escape from everyday life and the promise of youth the brothels offer. The illusion that comes with paying for a sexual environment.

    Chapter 17 – The Plain Facts and Figures of Prostitution

    • Collected figures from the Metropolitan police. Statistics showed there was 8600 prostitutes within the district with 2631 brothels. (astonishingly high number)
    • In respectable neighbourhoods the policeman didn’t give the brothel its official title to avoid stigma and the prostitutes were treated with much more care and attention than in other areas
    • Greenwood even suggests the lower class prostitutes are worse off than a female working on a slave plantation as the terrible clothes and life she has are of her own choosing and effort.
    • Prostitutes and soldiers are commonplace and often they go to the barracks instead of the men leaving for the brothels.
    • He describes the women fighting amongst each other and has personal experience of a lead woman of a brothel, very drunk, attacking him.

    Chapter 18 – The Present Condition of the Question

    • He describes how the law found it difficult to successfully convict brothel owners with the technicalities of women assembling for prostitution being difficult to prove.
    • The amendments suggested disorder had to be present. But there was a lack of understanding on what this meant and the brothels were organised and could give warning when police were on the premises.
    • Wrongful imprisonments hindered successful convictions, especially when some of them were of respected women in society. This gave further beneficial treatment towards those women who were prostitutes and using their class as a disguise.

    Chapter 19 – Suggestions

    • “We have foolishly and blindly ignored the evil, and consequently we have not been free to provide adequately for the reception of those who have lived in it, and are now desirous of returning, if they may, to decent life.”
    • Greenwood discusses how these women who are not necessarily prostitutes of their own desire cannot do anything else with their lives as there is no help or assistance from society to put them into a different are, line of work or group in society.
    • He wants the men who seduce women and then leave them which results in them having to live on the streets to be punished.
    • “Soften its horrors and gild its loathsomeness as you may, there will always remain enough to revolt all who are not wholly lost.”
    • He comments on how regulation will not solve the problem. To him brothels either stay or go completely there can be no phasing out of the practice slowly.

    30 Nov 2016, 22:59

  8. “Wife-Torture in England” by Frances Power Cobbe

    - Wife-beating exists in the upper and middle classes rather more than is generally recognised but it rarely extends to anything beyond an occasional blow or two of a not dangerous kind.
    - In his apparently most ungovernable rage, the gentleman or tradesman somehow manages to bear in mind the disgrace he will incur if his outbreak be betrayed by his wife’s black eye or broken arm, and h regulates his cuffs or kicks accordingly.
    - The dangerous wife-beater belongs almost exclusively to the artisan and labouring classes.
    - In the worst districts in London (as I have been informed by one of the most experienced magistrates) four-fifths of the wife-beating cases are among the lowest class of Irish labourers – a fact worthy of more than passing notice, had we time to bestow upon it, seeing that in their own country Irishmen of all classes are proverbially kind and even chivalrous towards women.
    - Cobbe looks at London v Durham and finds that there are nearly five times as many wife-beaters of the more brutal kind, in proportion to the population, in Durham as opposed to London. And goes onto state how Durham is not nice due to its industrial setting.
    - These places, then, are the localities where wife-torture flourishes in England; where a dense population is crowded into a hideous manufacturing or mining or mercantile district
    - The notion that a man’s wife is his property, in the sense in which a horse is his property (descended to us rather through the Roman law than through the customs of our Teuton ancestors), is the fatal root of incalculable evil and misery.
    - Should she be guilty of ‘nagging’ or scolding, or of being a slattern, or of getting intoxicated, she finds usually a short shrift and no favour – and even humane persons talk of her offence as constituting, if not a justification for her murder, yet on explanation of it.
    - She is, in short liable of capital punishment without judge and jury for transgressions which in the case of a man would never be punished at all.
    - It was only in 1829, in the 9th George IV., that the Act of Charles II., which embodied the old Common Law, and authorised a man ‘to chastise his wife with any reasonable instrument,’ was erased from the Statute-Book.
    - A specially experienced gentleman writes from Liverpool: “The women of Lancashire are awfully fond of bad husbands. It has become quite a truism that our women are like dogs, the more you beat them the more they love you.”
    - Cobbe states four causes of wife beating: alcohol, jealousy, anger and cruelty, and impatience and irritation in working class households.
    - Out of 67 persons changed with murder in 1876, 49 were men. Of 41 charged with attempted murder, 35 were males. Of 157 charged with shooting and stabbing, 146 were men. Obviously not all were domestic related.

    01 Dec 2016, 00:17

  9. Bodleian Library Collection of Ballads
    Context
    • Thomas Pettitt on ballads – ‘the murdered sweetheart ballads stand at the point of intersection of the themes of love and violence which are central to both broadside and traditional balladry’. The relationship between love and violence was central to Victorian literature, and made for stories that were melodramatic, featuring all the tropes of love, heartbreak, betrayal and murder. Pettitt describes the scenarios depicted in ballads as a ‘tragically extreme but plausible outcome’. (Thomas Pettitt, ‘Journalism vs. Tradition in the English Ballads of the Murdered Sweetheart’, in Patricia Fumerton et al (eds.), Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800 (Surrey, 2010), p. 75-76)
    • Derek Scott – argues it was the moral tone of the Victorian ballad that differs it from the songs of the twentieth century, ‘whether we regard it as healthy or not’. (Derek Scott, Sounds of the Metropolis: The 19th Century Popular Music Revolution in London, New York, Paris and Vienna (Oxford, 2008), p. 65)
    ‘The Model Workhouse Master’, 1860-83
    • Tells ballad of evil workhouse master who abuses the girls in his care.
    • ‘For he kissed the girls all night/ And played with them all day’. The master was manipulative and free to do as he pleased due to the power imbalance, treating the girls as objects of his possession rather than people in his care.
    • ‘He swore if the girls did not obey/ He would get them in a funny way’. The girls had no choice but to obey because otherwise they would find themselves without a roof over their head. Speaking out against their abuser would have resulted in more severe consequences for the girls than the master.
    • ‘He was so fond of the pauper ladies/ That he nearly filled the house with babies’. Birth control was clearly lacking and considered sinful, likewise abortion was a taboo subject. The author puts it down to blind luck that more girls did not fall pregnant, although whether these girls sought out secret abortions is left unsaid.
    • ‘The girls never scream’d because they liked it’. Implies that the girls whether or not they gave consent was deserving of the abuse, victim-blaming. More likely that the girls didn’t scream out of fear because they knew this would lead to further abuse.
    • ‘Now a word between me and you/ What was the poor girls to do?’ The girls in the workhouse are trapped, forced to put up with the abuse because they see it as the better alternative to living on the streets. The imbalance of power between the master and the pauper girls meant no justice could be served.

    01 Dec 2016, 01:20

  10. Bodleian Library Collection of Ballads
    ‘The Hampshire Tragedy’, 1849-62
    • Ballad is about a prostitute named Mary M’Gowan being murdered by a soldier in Aldershot.
    • ‘He with a razor clit her throat/ …Her Crimson gore, did stain the floor’. Theme of gore was popular in Victorian fiction, seen as essential to an exciting story, the more macabre the more likely the reader was to be engaged with the narrative. Shock value was imperative.
    • Prays for Lord’s forgiveness and to mother, ‘Forgive your wretched daughter’. She is a sinful character, shameful and her plea for forgiveness suggested that prostitutes are damned.
    • Meant to kill another girl, ‘Tis supposed that she was not the first/ That the wretched man had kill’d’. Victim is possibly just another number to the killer, suggests her death was accidental which implicitly insults the validity of the victim.
    • ‘Virtue is a jewel, and/ May all females pray/ That God above will guide them/ To walk in virtue’s way’. Obsession with purity, emphasis that virtue is the greatest trait a woman could possess.
    • Daughter will cause aged parents pain, and murderer will rot in ‘dreary dungeon’, there are no winners from this crime.
    • ‘You pretty maids a warning take’, uses this crime as a teachable moment. However this infers that the murder was the fault of the victim because of the way she lived her life. If she was of purer morality this would not have happened, appears on surface to be sympathetic but is actually victim blaming.

    01 Dec 2016, 01:21

  11. Old Bailey Documents

    Jacob Israel, Sexual Offences > rape, 5th January 1857.
    Reference Number: t18570105-218

    Summary: ‘Jacob Israel’ accused of raping a 17 year old girl who the court claimed was, by doctors’ evidence ‘an idiot’ and that she would be unable to give or refuse consent. Counsel claimed that there was no proof as to her impaired mental state when the alleged offence took place there was no case for the jury. He was found ‘not guilty’.

    Highlights:

    • The issues of women’s voices being silenced when making rape accusations
    • The issues of consent and mental capacity (perhaps this feeds into patriarchal ideas regarding femininity and ‘fragile’ minds of the ‘second sex’)

    JOHN FOWKES, Sexual Offences > rape, 23rd September 1861.
    Reference Number: t18610923-773

    Summary: A John Fowkes is indicted for raping Hester Jones. He is found not guilty on account of his ‘good character’.

    Highlights:
    • The patriarchal ideas surrounding male sexual attacks, men of ‘good character’ do not commit such acts (as well as apologism when they do)
    Less focus on the female victim and more on the accused male

    01 Dec 2016, 03:03

  12. Aksana Khan

    This Act sought to regulate the spread of venereal disease in the British Army and Royal Navy. As such it encapsulates the double-standard of Victorian sexual morality where women were punished for not living up to their gender stereotype (of being chaste and having sex only within marriage). This act policed women bodies, but not men’s.
    It gave the police power to ‘apprehend such Woman, and to convey her with all practicable Speed to the Hospital therein named, and for the Authorities of the Hospital to cause her to be examined by some Medical Officer of such Hospital.’ The lady questioned would have to be forcibly medically examined. If she did not ‘voluntarily submit’, she would be either imprisoned for 1-2 months (in the original 1864 act), and anyone who ‘knowingly suffers any common Prostitute’ would be fined £10 and a potential prison sentence of up to 3 months. If the woman in question is found to have an STD she would be treated in a government approved hospital, her stay there can lead up to 9 months.
    The parliamentary debates surrounding these acts emphasise men and their reasoning, even the dismissal of the petition raised by Ladies’ National Association to repeal these acts.

    01 Dec 2016, 08:32

  13. Bodleian Ballads
    Blue eyed Mary
    • A ballad which depicts Mary being seduced into prostitution, ‘the worst of all misery’
    • she dies from venereal disease
    • the author of the ballad urges the reader not to stray form virtue unlike the unlucky heroine as it is sure to result in ‘grief and sorrow’ despite your upbringing
    • sheltered upbringing leads to naivety and innocence allowing for
    • young and wealthy men were at fault for ensnaring poor girls and seducing them and offering marriage, a world of balls and theatres for a time
    • Mary endures poverty and a life in the workhouse and a child out of wedlock which turns her to prostitution
    Mary Ashford’s Tragedy
    • Her abuser approached her at a dance with ‘flattery and smiles’
    • Threw her into a pond after ‘ravishing’ her where she drowned
    • ‘mary’ wishes vengeance upon her rapist and murderer
    • ‘mary’ urges her young readers to visit the pond in which she drowned every year in May; stay at home and not to go dancing at night, or go to a field with a stranger
    • Mary ashford lies here/ whose fate was severe/ was ravished and murdered laws keep’

    01 Dec 2016, 08:39

  14. Charlotte Beesley

    The Trials of Oscar Wilde 
1. Wilde’s letters to Douglas
    Includes three letters Wilde wrote to [assumably a partner named Douglas], two before prison and one afterwards.
    They are beautifully written, so poetic and nothing like we could read from today. They’re also very sad to read as they are pretty much just love letters but nothing crude or explicit, nothing we would even dream of imprisoning someone for today.

    2. Queensberry’s Letters to his son, Alfred Douglas
    Two letters, one from Douglas’ father, and his response.
    The first, not surprisingly for the time, states how disgusted and shocked he is with his son and would disown him further if he spent any more time with him and the allegations were true.
    He signs off, ‘your disgusted, so-called father!’
    The response from Douglas denies all involvement with Wilde yet he does admit he holds sympathy with him, relating it to the sympathy he has when killing sharks!

    3. Poems by Douglas
    Two Loves: talks about being called ‘love’ and knowing that he was wanted, then assumably upon Wilde’s investigations he stops contact and everything he knows is reverted. The poem shows how disappointed and almost angry he is with Wilde, yet his heart is still in the same place.
    In Praise of Shame: says even though the world at this point is against him, he still holds love and ‘Of all sweet passions, Shame is the loveliest’.

    4. Wilde’s Writings on Trial
    This bit is very interesting and beautiful to read, I’m not sure I understand it fully, but read it, even if you don’t use it in an essay/exam its very interesting. Again shows how awful imprisoning such a natural talent was for again, something very natural.

    5. Transcripts of Libel Trial Prosecuted by Oscar Wilde, 1895
    As it says on the tin, gives outlines of what was said at various points in the trial, his answers are very interesting and he does not try to hide or deny anything.
    This is the same for the First Criminal Trial and the Second, giving different notable excerpts from each session.

    6. Prison Writings
    The Ballad of Reading Gaol (i’ve actually been around the outside of the Reading prison – its absolutely huge and theres a pathway around it called the Wilde Walk, with lots of little memorials to him).
    A poem talking abut how he felt during prison. Again has Wilde’s signature romantic writing style but doesn’t hide anything about how he started to loose hope and faith, ‘ Desire at the end was a malady, a madness or both. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character’.

    7. Some pictures of various points of his life are included. Dramatic changes between before and after prison can be seen!
    8. – There is also a brief overview of how homosexuality was viewed by the law, termed as sodomy or buggery and was a first civil offence, punishable by death in 1533 after a formal decree on the subject by Henry VIII.

    01 Dec 2016, 08:57


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