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2019.10.11 Properties Connected to Oscar Wilde Up for Sale
A number of properties have gone up for sale recently, causing somewhat of a stir. What makes these properties newsworthy? Their connection to Irish playwright and author Oscar Wilde, renowned for works such as The Happy Prince and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The first of these properties is Grove Farmhouse in Norfolk, England. Wilde is known to have stayed at this house in the summer of 1892, where he wrote the play “A Woman of No Importance.” His wife Constance accompanied him for the early portion of his stay at Grove Farmhouse. During the time that Constance was away from the house, Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas visited and the two spent about ten days together. The house itself is of course quite old, but the interior has been updated to appeal to potential buyers today.

Later in his life, Wilde was arrested and imprisoned for the crime of “gross indecency” with men. He suffered from unbearable loneliness and harsh manual labor during his two years spent in Block C of the prison formerly known as Reading Gaol. This prison is now on the market to be sold. It is considered a Mecca for LGBT people around the world, and there is a great desire for this historical site to be preserved, according to the Reading Borough Council. For this reason, the government has preserved the building up until now, but due to the great maintenance costs it has been placed on the market to be sold. Theatre Arts Reading (TAR) has expressed interest in purchasing the property, and they have plans to convert the prison into a theatre and Oscar Wilde museum.

Oscar Wilde was a giant in the world of theatre, but despite his success, he suffered greatly later in life. Due to the times in which he lived, his history is a deeply saddening one that makes us all the more grateful for the strides that have been made toward LGBT rights today. We sincerely hope that these important building be preserved in some form, lest we forget the story not only of Wilde’s great successes, but also of his deep smart watches