A Walk on the Wilde Side

This last weekend I found myself in Reading for the first time in many months. It was a place I thought I was quite familiar with until I took a walk from my hotel early on Saturday morning, enjoying the spread of spring blooms in the very welcome sunshine. The River Kennet runs through the town and a backwater flows by the ruined abbey and below the walls of the old Reading Jail. I discovered that the path has now been turned into a memorial to one of the jail’s most famous inmates, Oscar Wilde. The railings and gates have been fashioned into lines from his poetry and one gate has been cleverly made in his image.

Oscar Wilde

In his words:

I know not whether Laws be right,

Or whether Laws be wrong;

All that we know who lie in gaol

Is that the wall is strong;

[From The Ballad of Reading Gaol]


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