Many prized items all relating to Oscar Wilde are to be displayed in public for the first time in Malta.
The never-seen before collection of items includes the key to cell 3.3 at Reading Gaol, the cell where Oscar Wilde carried out his sentence when imprisoned in 1895 for gross indecency. The cell has recently been in the limelight after the Tate Britain aquired the door from Reading Gaol. Over 100 lithographs connected with the playwright and some say the jewell in the crown, a handwritten letter sent to the Pall Mall Gazzette in 1894, is also on show denying he was the author of the controversial book The Green Carnation.
The Green Carnation caused quite a stir and was extremely controversial. The book was released with an anonymous author which many thought to be Oscar Wilde. The main characters had distinct similarities to his own relationship with his lover Lord Alfred Douglas. The book formed part of the evidence against the Dublin born writer during his prosecution for indecency where he was convicted for homosexual behaviour, considered a crime at that time, and sentenced to two years hard labour. It later transpired the book was written by Robert Hichens who know Lord Douglas personally.
The collection has been put together by a new non-profit voluntary charity called the Storm Petrel Federation, specifically set up to display prized items of popular culture. The exhibition, Vanities: Collecting Oscar Wilde is located at 79 Triq San Anton in Atard and opened its doors on Saturday 11th March 2017.