Best Known For
Author Oscar Wilde published several acclaimed works, including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest.
Oscar Wilde's father was Ireland's leading eye surgeon and was knighted in 1864.
Oscar Wilde died at age 46 on November 30, 1900 from meningitis.
Although he was married to Constance Lloyd, Wilde spent nights in a hotel with Lord Alfred Douglas. It was his most prolific writing period.
Oscar Wilde sued the Marquis de Queensburg for libel, lost, and wound up in jail for gross indecency because of his homosexuality.
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Born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Irish writer Oscar Wilde is best known for the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the play The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as for his infamous arrest and imprisonment for being gay.
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
"I can resist everything except temptation."
"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. His father, William Wilde, was an acclaimed doctor who was knighted for his work as medical advisor for the Irish censuses. William Wilde later founded St. Mark's Ophthalmic Hospital, entirely at his own personal expense, to treat the city's poor. Oscar Wilde's mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poet who was closely associated with the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, a skilled linguist whose acclaimed English translation of Pomeranian novelist Wilhelm Meinhold's Sidonia the Sorceress had a deep influence on her son's later writing.
Wilde was a bright and bookish child. He attended the Portora Royal School at Enniskillen where he fell in love with Greek and Roman studies. He won the school's prize for the top classics student in each of his last two years, as well as second prize in drawing during his final year. Upon graduating in 1871, Wilde was awarded the Royal School Scholarship to attend Trinity College in Dublin. At the end of his first year at Trinity, in 1872, he placed first in the school's classics examination and received the college's Foundation Scholarship, the highest honor awarded to undergraduates.
Upon his graduation in 1874, Wilde received the Berkeley Gold Medal as Trinity's best student in Greek, as well as the Demyship scholarship for further study at Magdalen College in Oxford. At Oxford, Wilde continued to excel academically, receiving first class marks from his examiners in both classics and classical moderations. It was also at Oxford that Wilde made his first sustained attempts at creative writing. In 1878, the year of his graduation, his poem "Ravenna" won the Newdigate Prize for the best English verse composition by an Oxford undergraduate.
Upon graduating from Oxford, Wilde moved to London to live with his friend, Frank Miles, a popular portraitist among London's high society. There, he continued to focus on writing poetry, publishing his first collection, Poems, in 1881. While the book received only modest critical praise, it nevertheless established Wilde as an up-and-coming writer. The next year, in 1882, Wilde traveled from London to New York City to embark on an American lecture tour, for which he delivered a staggering 140 lectures in just nine months.
While not lecturing, he managed to meet with some of the leading American scholars and literary figures of the day, including Henry Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Walt Whitman. Wilde especially admired Whitman. "There is no one in this wide great world of America whom I love and honor so much,'' he later wrote to his idol.
Upon the conclusion of his American tour, Wilde returned home and immediately commenced another lecture circuit of England and Ireland that lasted until the middle of 1884. Through his lectures, as well as his early poetry, Wilde established himself as a leading proponent of the aesthetic movement, a theory of art and literature that emphasized the pursuit of beauty for its own sake, rather than to promote any political or social viewpoint.
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