Title: A Ladder for Mr Oscar Wilde
By: Geoff Sawers, Peter Hay
Publisher: Two Rivers Press
This short pamphlet is an inventive mixture of biography, debate and imaginative pen and ink illustrations. The text mostly focuses on Wilde’s unfair incarceration in Reading Goal, as well as commenting on the prison conditions and politics of the 1800s. The main body of the text is punctuated by Peter Hay’s illustrations and small contextual notes.
A Ladder for Mr Wilde would be a fascinating text for anyone interested in Oscar Wilde’s writing, not just his poem ‘The ballad of Reading Goal’ but also the expansive range of poetry, prose and plays that Wilde produced before his incarceration. It is also an informative resource for anyone interested in the system of punishment in the UK; or the bitter history of those prosecuted for homosexuality before it became legal in 1967.