What did playwright, Oscar Wilde, go to prison for on May 25, 1895?
Playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of sodomy on May 25, 1895. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with Sir John Sholto Douglas, whose son was intimately involved with Wilde.
Homosexuality was a criminal offense and serious societal taboo at this time in Britain. Wilde had gone back and forth between hiding his sexual orientation and attempting to gain some measure of public acceptance. After Douglas, began spouting his objections to Wilde’s behavior to the public, Wilde felt compelled to sue him for libel.
Wilde served his two years and then spent the last three years of his life in exile. He died at the age of 45.