Oscar Wilde was a popular Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, poet and critic, and a noted celebrity who lived in late 19th century London.
Date of Birth: 16 October, 1854
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Education: Graduated from Oxford University
Notable Works: Ravenna, The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888, fairy stories), House of Pomegranates (1891, fairy stories), A Woman of No Importance (1893, play) An Ideal Husband (performed 1895, published 1898; play) The Importance of Being Earnest (performed 1895, published 1898; play)
Born in Dublin on 16 October 1854, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was the second of three children born to writer Jane Francesca Agnes née Elgee and surgeon Sir William Robert Wills Wilde. While his mother was a prominent poet and nationalist, his father a successful surgeon and noted philanthropist. Oscar had an older brother named William and a younger sister, Isola. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford, he later moved to London to pursue a literary career.
His literary showcase is truly diverse. While his first volume of poetry was published in 1881 he also contributed to publications such as the ‘Pall Mall Gazette’, wrote fairy stories and published a novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). However his greatest talents lay in writing plays, and he produced a string of extremely popular comedies which included Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Salomé was performed in Paris in 1896.
Wilde’s private life was marred by extreme drama and tragedy. He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and they had two sons. However in 1891, Wilde started an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas (nicknamed Bosie). In April 1895, Wilde sued Bosie’s father, the Marquis of Queensberry, for libel, after the Marquis has accused him of being homosexual. Wilde lost the case and, after details of his private life were revealed, was arrested and tried for gross indecency. He was sentenced to two years of hard labour. In prison he composed a long letter to Douglas, which was posthumously published under the title De Profundis. When he was released from prison, most of his reputation was destroyed and his health deteriorated very badly. He spent the rest of his life in Europe, publishing The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He died in Paris on 30 November 1900.
Here are 15 amazing quotes that celebrate the legacy of this writer who managed to break boundaries and inspires countless readers around the world.