Oscar Wilde

Author: Napoleon Sarony / Public Domain

Oscar Wilde Biography

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 16, 1854, and died in Paris, France, on November 30, 1900. He was a well-known writer for his short stories, his essays, and his novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray. In addition to the controversies that caused his sexual orientation at that time.

Son of Sir William Wilde, Ireland’s most famous surgeon in Ophthalmology and Otology, and Jane Wilde, a sympathizer poet of Irish Nationalism. Oscar was the second of three children of one of the most important families of the Anglo-Irish society from the city of Dublin. He received education in his home until the age of nine, in which he demonstrated an ease in learning German and French.

Oscar would study at the Portora Royal School in Enniskillen between 1864 to 1871. After high school, he would enter Trinity College in which, three years later, and thanks to the advice of J. P. Mahaffy, he would receive the most important prize of his Faculty, the Berkeley gold medal, for his work The social life in Greece.

In 1874, he would receive a scholarship with which he could enter the Magdalen College in Oxford, an institution from which he would obtain the title of Bachelor of Arts in 1878 with honors.

Although it is true that during his time at Trinity College he had already published in magazines such as Dublin University Magazine and Kottabos, and had won the Oxford Newdigate Prize in Oxford for his poem Ravenna, it was not until 1881 when he would publish Poems, his first book. This book had an incredible reception in both the critics and the public because in a few weeks they managed to sell four editions.

Back in Dublin, Wilde would fall in love with Florence Balcombe. However, she preferred Bram Stoker, with whom she would marry in 1878. Because of this, Wilde left Ireland to return in the future only twice due to job issues. Thus began a series of conferences in England, France, and the United States. While in London he would meet Constance Lloyd, with whom he would get married on May 29, 1884. The following year the first of his sons, Cyril, was born and in 1886 his second son, Vyvyan.

“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

In 1887, Wilde would start directing The Woman’s World magazine, formerly called The Lady’s World. In fact, it is the same Oscar Wilde who suggests changing the name, because although at the beginning the magazine made publications of fashion items, home decoration and an occasional fiction of pink gender, what the magazine was looking for was vindicate the emerging role of women who were already being educated and had a role in the world. Wilde would publish some of his first stories in this magazine. Although he would leave the direction of the magazine in 1889. The same year in which it publishes his first tests and Portrait of Mr. W. H. The following year publishes his most famous work: The portrait of Dorian Gray.

In 1891, he would publish some essays, including The Critic as Artist and The Decay of Lying, as well as two anthologies of his stories: A House of Pomegranates and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories. In the following two years, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Salomé and A woman of no importance will premiere. In 1894 he published Phrases and Philosophies for the use of youth, and in 1895 they premiered An Ideal Husband and The importance of being Ernest.

Nevertheless, in spite of the great recognition that Wilde had obtained in the literary scope, in 1895 Oscar Wilde initiates a judgment against the Marquess of Queensberry by the crime of defamation, because he had accused him of maintaining a romance with his son, Lord Alfred Douglas. That same year, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years of forced labor for sodomy and indecency. His wife Constance changed her married name and that of her children to Holland, to keep the distance from the scandal involving her husband. Because of the verdict of the Court, he had to renounce to his children as well. Despite all this, Constance never divorced Oscar Wilde.

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. (Mr. Dumby, Act III)” ― Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

During his time in prison, Wilde wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis. After leaving prison in 1897, Wilde would meet with Lord Alfred Douglas and they began a life together around Naples. However, this lasted a few months, as their family cut off their economic funds and forced them to separate. For these actions, Constance told him that she did not want him to see her or her children again.

In the year 1900, Oscar Wilde dies at the Hôtel d’Alsace in Paris, due to an attack of meningitis. In his last moments of life, he decided to convert to Catholicism and be baptized.


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