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How to spend it

Four extracts from diaries, letters and books

By Ian Irvine   March 2010

1893—Oscar Wilde spends three months of the summer with his lover, Alfred Douglas, at a house at Goring-on-Thames at a total cost of £1,340 [£111,000 in today’s money]. As Wilde later wrote to Alfred from prison in 1897 in the long letter of self-recrimination and reproach, “De Profundis”:

“Though it may seem strange to you that one in the terrible position in which I am situated should find a difference between one disgrace and another, still I frankly admit that the folly of throwing all this money at you, and letting you squander my fortune to your own hurt…

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