Oscar Wilde Facts

  • Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin. His parents were well known for their extravagant lifestyles. They were also sympathetic to Irish nationalism.
  • Oscar Wilde was a talented student and gained a scholarship to Trinity Collge, Dublin and later Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • He was sent down from Magdalen after turning up to college three weeks later.
  • After moving to London, Wilde became well a well known celebrity mixing with high society and impressing many with his wit and flamboyance.
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
- Oscar Wilde
  • Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd. Together they had two sons.
  • Oscar Wilde had several homosexual relationships. He was particularly close to Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie)
  • Wilde became well known as a playwright. His plays offered sharp satires on life and people. His most popular included: The Importance of Being Earnest, His only novel was The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband
  • The father of Alfred Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry, disliked Wilde and hinted Oscar Wilde was homosexual. Wilde launched a libel action against his father, but it soon fell apart. This led to Wilde being tried for the crime of sodomy.
  • Wilde was sentenced to two years in Reading Gaol. Afterwards he moved to Paris, where he lived in relative anonymity until his death in 1900.
I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky.
- Ballad of Reading Gaol - Oscar Wilde

After his experience in gaol, he became interested in religion. He applied for a six month Jesuit retreat, but was turned down. He received the last sacraments on his bedside before his death.

Oscar Wilde Biography
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