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- Mar 2020
This is the original manuscript of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis; a long, harrowing letter written to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, whose dysfunctional relationship with his father Wilde blamed for his trial and imprisonment from 1895–97. What does the title mean?
‘De Profundis’ is Latin for ‘from the depths’; it comes from the first line of Psalm 130 of the penitential Psalms: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord’. The writer E. V. Lucas (1868–1938) claimed to have suggested the title; Wilde had suggested ‘Epistola: In Carcere et Vinculis’, meaning ‘Letter: In Prison and in Chains’.