Life of Oscar Wilde

Life of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854 to Sir William Wilde and his wife Jane. Oscar's mother, Lady Jane Francesca Wilde (1820-1896), was a successful poet and journalist. She wrote patriotic Irish verse under the pseudonym "Speranza". Oscar's father, Sir William Wilde (1815 - 1876), was a leading ear and eye surgeon, a renowned philanthropist and gifted writer, who wrote books on archaeology and folklore. Oscar had an elder brother, Willie, and a younger sister, Isola Francesca, who died at the early age of 10.

Oscar Wilde was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he became involved in the aesthetic movement and became an advocate for 'Art for Art's Sake'.

After he graduated, he moved to Chelsea, in London (1879), to establish a literary career. In 1881, he published his first collection of poetry - 'Poems' that received mixed reviews by critics. He worked as art reviewer, lectured in the United States and Canada, and lived in Paris. He also lectured in Britain and Ireland (1883 - 1884). From the mid-1880s he was regular contributor for Pall Mall Gazette and Dramatic View.

On May 29, 1884, Oscar married Constance Lloyd, daughter of wealthy Queen's Counsel Horace Lloyd. They had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan. To support his family, Oscar accepted a job as the editor of Woman's World magazine, where he worked from 1887-1889. In 1888 he published The Happy Prince and Other Tales, fairy-stories written for his two sons. His first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published in 1891 and recieved quite a negative response. This had much to do with the novel's homoerotic overtones, which caused something of a sensation amongst Victorian critics. In 1891 Wilde began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed 'Bosie', who became both the love of his life and his downfall. Wilde's marriage ended in 1893.

“The picture of...

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