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'A Sonnet out of Skilly'

Oscar Wilde's 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol'

Tim Youngs

One remarkable career may have been launched at an institution in Reading (John Lucas’s, which this volume honours, at the University), but another reached an inglorious end at a different institution there: Oscar Wilde’s in Reading Gaol. Perhaps the arrival of John, a lover of the national sport, is anticipated in Wilde’s line: ‘A cricket cap was on his head’, but there the similarity probably ends.