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Flamboyant man-about-town, Oscar Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. He was born to a middle-class Irish family (his father was a surgeon) and was trained as a scholarship boy at Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Pater, whose aestheticism was taken to its radical extreme in Wilde's work. By 1879 he was already known as a wit and a dandy; soon after, in fact, he was satirized in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. Largely on the strength of his public persona, Wilde undertook a lecture tour to the United States in 1882, where he saw his play Vera open---unsuccessfully---in New York. His first published volume, Poems, which met with some degree of approbation, appeared at this time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of an Irish lawyer, and within two years they had two sons. During this period he wrote, among others, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), his only novel, which scandalized many readers and was widely denounced as immoral. Wilde simultaneously dismissed and encouraged such criticism with his statement in the preface, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." In 1891 Wilde published A House of Pomegranates, a collection of fantasy tales, and in 1892 gained commercial and critical success with his play, Lady Windermere's Fan He followed this comedy with A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). During this period he also wrote Salome, in French, but was unable to obtain a license for it in England. Performed in Paris in 1896, the play was translated and published in England in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas and was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. Lord Alfred was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who objected to his son's spending so much time with Wilde because of Wilde's flamboyant behavior and homosexual relationships. In 1895, after being publicly insulted by the marquess, Wilde brought an unsuccessful slander suit against the peer. The result of his inability to prove slander was his own trial on charges of sodomy, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. During his time in prison, he wrote a scathing rebuke to Lord Alfred, published in 1905 as De Profundis. In it he argues that his conduct was a result of his standing "in symbolic relations to the art and culture" of his time. After his release, Wilde left England for Paris, where he wrote what may be his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), drawn from his prison experiences. Among his other notable writing is The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891), which argues for individualism and freedom of artistic expression. There has been a revived interest in Wilde's work; among the best recent volumes are Richard Ellmann's, Oscar Wilde and Regenia Gagnier's Idylls of the Marketplace , two works that vary widely in their critical assumptions and approach to Wilde but that offer rich insights into his complex character. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Le Portrait de Dorian Gray
… (plus d'informations)
Le Portrait de Dorian Gray 35,122 exemplaire(s), 585 critiques
L'importance d'être Constant 10,092 exemplaire(s), 165 critiques
Oeuvres (sous étui) 4,521 exemplaire(s), 21 critiques
Le Portrait de Dorian Gray 2,316 exemplaire(s), 19 critiques
Le Fantôme de Canterville 1,984 exemplaire(s), 67 critiques
De profundis 1,487 exemplaire(s), 22 critiques
Salomé (Auteur) 1,438 exemplaire(s), 25 critiques
Un mari idéal : An Ideal Husband 1,257 exemplaire(s), 31 critiques
Le Prince Heureux/ Le Geant Egoiste 1,212 exemplaire(s), 26 critiques
Complete Short Fiction 1,140 exemplaire(s), 13 critiques
Le Crime de Lord Arthur Savile et autres contes 1,104 exemplaire(s), 16 critiques
The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde 1,073 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
L'Eventail de Lady Windermere 983 exemplaire(s), 29 critiques
The Selfish Giant 684 exemplaire(s), 18 critiques
La Ballade de la Géole de reading 642 exemplaire(s), 12 critiques
Wilde Oscar : Importance of Being Earnest (Sc) (Auteur) 638 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
De Profundis and Other Writings 618 exemplaire(s), 7 critiques
A Woman of No Importance 591 exemplaire(s), 13 critiques
Le Prince Heureux 543 exemplaire(s), 17 critiques
The Portable Oscar Wilde: Revised Edition 467 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Teleny. Étude physiologique (attributed) 446 exemplaire(s), 7 critiques
The Complete Plays 376 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Fairy Tales 337 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
L'âme humaine 314 exemplaire(s), 6 critiques
Oscar Wilde's The picture of Dorian Gray: a graphic novel (Auteur) 307 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Wit and Humor of Oscar Wilde 298 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
La Maison des grenades 292 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
Aphorismes 278 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Poe mes (Auteur) 264 exemplaire(s)
Le portrait de Mr. W.H. 255 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
Oscar Wilde Stories for Children 248 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Plays of Oscar Wilde 236 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Collected Oscar Wilde 199 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Intentions 192 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Nightingale and the Rose 160 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray 160 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
El fantasma de Canterville y otros cuentos 157 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales 154 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Contes d'Oscar Wilde 153 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Picture of Dorian Gray [Penguin Readers] 145 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Déclin du mensonge (le) 131 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Wit of Oscar Wilde 128 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Importance of Being Earnest / Lady Windermere's Fan (Auteur) 119 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Works of Oscar Wilde 118 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected Poems (Phoenix Poetry) 111 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Selfish Giant 109 exemplaire(s)
Il fantasma di Canterville e altri racconti 108 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Nothing...Except My Genius 106 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Portable Oscar Wilde 94 exemplaire(s)
The Critic as Artist 90 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Happy Prince and Other Tales 90 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Letters of Oscar Wilde 90 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (Auteur) 89 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Wit of Oscar Wilde 88 exemplaire(s)
The Birthday of the Infanta 82 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected Letters of Oscar Wilde 79 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Oscar Wilde Epigrams 71 exemplaire(s)
The Selfish Giant and Other Stories 68 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Wilde [1997 film] (Auteur) 61 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Picture of Dorian Gray [Oxford Bookworms] 59 exemplaire(s), 9 critiques
La Duchesse de Padoue 56 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Table Talk 55 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Essays and Lectures 51 exemplaire(s)
Véra ou Les nihilistes 48 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Annotated Oscar Wilde 44 exemplaire(s)
Salome and Other Plays 43 exemplaire(s)
Selected Plays 42 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Le fantôme de Canterville et autres contes 41 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Oscar Wilde: Short Stories 40 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Fisherman and his Soul 39 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Opere 37 exemplaire(s)
Le crime de lord Arthur Savile 37 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Oscar Wilde reader 37 exemplaire(s)
El fantasma de Canterville y otros relatos 36 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Devoted Friend 34 exemplaire(s)
Tales from Oscar Wilde 33 exemplaire(s)
The Star Child 32 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected Writings 29 exemplaire(s)
Great Short Works 29 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
More Letters 26 exemplaire(s)
The picture of Dorian Gray 26 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Canterville Ghost [1996 TV movie] (Writer) 24 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Sphinx Without a Secret 24 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Essays and Letters 24 exemplaire(s)
Contes et récits 24 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Three Plays 23 exemplaire(s)
Plays and Poems 21 exemplaire(s)
Il principe felice e Una casa di melograni 21 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Charmides and Other Poems 21 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Oscar Wilde Collection 21 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Teleny and Camille 20 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Oscar Wilde Collection [BBC Play of the Month series] (Playwright) 20 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Prose of Oscar Wilde 20 exemplaire(s)
The Remarkable Rocket 20 exemplaire(s)
Stories for Young People: Oscar Wilde 20 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected essays and poems 20 exemplaire(s)
The Poetry of Oscar Wilde 19 exemplaire(s)
The Canterville Ghost [1944 film] (Auteur) 19 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Oscariana 19 exemplaire(s)
Aristote à l'heure du thé 19 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected Works 19 exemplaire(s)
Oscar Wilde : Oeuvres 18 exemplaire(s)
Fairy Tales 18 exemplaire(s)
Little Book of Sayings of Oscar Wilde 18 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Essays of Oscar Wilde 17 exemplaire(s)
A Florentine Tragedy 17 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Lady Fuckingham 16 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Racconti 15 exemplaire(s)
Howards End 15 exemplaire(s)
Comedies 15 exemplaire(s)
Poems and Essays 14 exemplaire(s)
Torre de papel 14 exemplaire(s)
The Model Millionaire 13 exemplaire(s)
Cuentos 13 exemplaire(s)
The Bedside Wilde 13 exemplaire(s)
Il milionario modello e altri racconti 12 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Tutti i racconti 12 exemplaire(s)
El Arte de conversar 12 exemplaire(s)
The Sphinx 12 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
El gigante egoísta 11 exemplaire(s)
Poemas en prosa 10 exemplaire(s)
The Young King 10 exemplaire(s)
O principe feliz 10 exemplaire(s)
Oscar Wilde : ett urval 10 exemplaire(s)
La Sainte Courtisane 9 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Narrativa y teatro 9 exemplaire(s)
Stories & Fairy Tales 9 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Epigrams & aphorisms 9 exemplaire(s)
The Harlot's house: a poem 9 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Reviews 9 exemplaire(s)
Teatro 8 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Paradoja y genio 8 exemplaire(s)
Shorter Prose Pieces 8 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Stories for Summer 8 exemplaire(s)
Tutte le opere 7 exemplaire(s)
Miscellanies 7 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Impressions of America 7 exemplaire(s)
Sus mejores cuentos 7 exemplaire(s)
Tutto il teatro 7 exemplaire(s)
Las Artes y el Artesano 6 exemplaire(s)
Werkausgabe: 5 Bde. 6 exemplaire(s)
Oscariana 6 exemplaire(s)
Maximes et autres textes 6 exemplaire(s)
Penna, matita e veleno 6 exemplaire(s)
Jovem Rei e Outras Histórias, O 5 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Lehren und Sprüche 5 exemplaire(s)
Oscar Wilde : aforismer 5 exemplaire(s)
HISTÓRIAS DE FADAS 5 exemplaire(s)
The Selfish Giant / The Happy Prince (Auteur) 5 exemplaire(s)
O fantasma dos Canterville e outros contos 5 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Best-Loved Oscar Wilde 5 exemplaire(s)
Letters to the Sphinx 5 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Les Ailes du paradoxe 5 exemplaire(s)
Miscellanies 5 exemplaire(s)
I capolavori 5 exemplaire(s)
Oscar Wilde The Dover Reader 5 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Racconti fantastici 5 exemplaire(s)
Selections from Oscar Wilde 4 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Happy Prince and Other Tales 4 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
La importancia de no hacer nada 4 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Salomé / A Florentine tragedy / Vera (Auteur) 4 exemplaire(s)
Werke in 2 Bänden 2 4 exemplaire(s)
la jeunesse est un art 4 exemplaire(s)
The Canterville Ghost [1986 TV movie] (Auteur) 4 exemplaire(s)
PLAYS 4 exemplaire(s)
Les Pensées 4 exemplaire(s)
Eros kertje 4 exemplaire(s)
Romanzi e racconti 4 exemplaire(s)
Nouvelles fantastiques 4 exemplaire(s)
OSCAR WILDE IN QUOTE 4 exemplaire(s)
Twee balladen 4 exemplaire(s)
Charmides 3 exemplaire(s)
Il denaro non basta 3 exemplaire(s)
Shit My Dad (Never) Says 3 exemplaire(s)
Illustrated Oscar Wilde 3 exemplaire(s)
Oscar Wilde wit's end 3 exemplaire(s)
Obras Inmortales 3 exemplaire(s)
Tutte le opere vol. 1-2 3 exemplaire(s)
Shakespeares älskade 3 exemplaire(s)
Selfish Giant CD ROM 3 exemplaire(s)
Selections, vol. 1 3 exemplaire(s)
Le Satyricon (supposed translator, quelques éditions) 3,130 exemplaire(s), 27 critiques
Oscar Wilde (Subject) 1,820 exemplaire(s), 9 critiques
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Contributeur) 1,118 exemplaire(s), 9 critiques
The Classic Fairy Tales [Norton Critical Edition] (Contributeur) 922 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Nation's Favourite Poems (Auteur, quelques éditions) 581 exemplaire(s), 7 critiques
The Book of Fantasy (Contributeur) 525 exemplaire(s), 11 critiques
Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture (Contributeur) 525 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
A Treasury of the World's Best Loved Poems (Contributeur) 476 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (Contributeur) 463 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the… (quelques éditions) 458 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Victorian Fairytale Book (Contributeur) 425 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Critical Theory Since Plato (Contributeur, quelques éditions) 372 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales (Contributeur) 342 exemplaire(s), 6 critiques
Eight great comedies (Contributeur) 334 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 305 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories 300 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Ghosts: A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old & New (Contributeur) 300 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
24 Favorite One Act Plays (Contributeur) 256 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Witches & Warlocks: Tales of Black Magic, Old & New (Contributeur) 256 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Criticism: Major Statements (Contributeur) 199 exemplaire(s)
The Golden Treasury of Children's Literature Set (Contributeur) 190 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Penguin Book of Irish Verse (Contributeur) 178 exemplaire(s)
Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Contributeur) 171 exemplaire(s)
The Portable Victorian Reader (Contributeur) 171 exemplaire(s)
The Importance of Being Earnest (DVD) (Original play) 169 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Masterpieces of the Drama (Contributeur) 167 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Love Letters (Contributeur) 167 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (Contributeur) 140 exemplaire(s)
The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (Contributeur) 123 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Irish Tales of Terror (Contributeur) 116 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Anarchist Reader (Auteur, quelques éditions) 112 exemplaire(s)
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 102 exemplaire(s)
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Contributeur) 100 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Sixteen Famous British Plays (Contributeur) 99 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thirty Famous One-Act Plays (Contributeur) 98 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
New Worlds for Old (Contributeur) 94 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Book of Irish Weirdness: A Treasury of Classic Tales of the… (Contributeur) 92 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Outstanding Short Stories [Penguin Readers] (Contributeur) 88 exemplaire(s)
The Dedalus Book of Decadence (Contributeur) 88 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Treasury Of Gothic & Supernatural (Contributeur) 87 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Oscar Wilde (Contributeur) 84 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Chilling Ghost Short Stories (Contributeur) 82 exemplaire(s)
A Book of Princesses (Contributeur) 80 exemplaire(s)
The Treasury of English Short Stories (Contributeur) 79 exemplaire(s)
Decadent Poetry (Contributeur) 76 exemplaire(s)
Charles Keeping's Book of Classic Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 75 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Victorian Fairy Tales (Oxford World's Classics) (Contributeur) 70 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Contemporary Drama: 15 Plays (Contributeur) 68 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Dorian Gray [2009 film] (Original story) 67 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Folio Book of Comic Short Stories (Contributeur) 66 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season (Contributeur) 66 exemplaire(s), 11 critiques
Reader's Digest Great Stories for Young Readers (Contributeur) 65 exemplaire(s)
Selected Stories from the 19th Century (Contributeur) 65 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Importance of Being Earnest [1952 film] (Original play) 65 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Murder Mayhem Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (Contributeur) 63 exemplaire(s)
The Mammoth Book of Fairy Tales (Contributeur) 60 exemplaire(s)
The Bedside Book of Famous British Stories (Contributeur) 57 exemplaire(s)
Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, Vol. 3: The Birthday of the Infanta (Contributeur) 54 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Fourth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 50 exemplaire(s)
Victorian Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology (Contributeur) 46 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Great Classic Stories: 22 Unabridged Classics (Auteur, quelques éditions) 46 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
The Second Dedalus Book of Decadence the Black Feast (Contributeur) 44 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Great Tales of Terror (Contributeur) 43 exemplaire(s)
A Century of Humour (Contributeur) 42 exemplaire(s)
Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, Vol. 5: The Happy Prince (Contributeur) 38 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Picture of Dorian Gray [1945 film] (Original novel) 35 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001 (Contributeur) 35 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Genius of the Later English Theater (Contributeur) 32 exemplaire(s)
The Vintage Book of Classic Crime (Contributeur) 31 exemplaire(s)
The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Moral Entertainment (Original play) 30 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Stories To Get You Through The Night (Contributeur) 29 exemplaire(s)
Witches, Witches, Witches (Contributeur) 29 exemplaire(s)
Irish Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 28 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
A Book of Old Ballads (Contributeur) 25 exemplaire(s)
L'Avant-Scène Opéra, N° 240 : Salomé (Librettist, quelques éditions) 25 exemplaire(s)
A Book of Princes (Contributeur) 23 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Great Ghost Stories: 34 Classic Tales of the Supernatural (Contributeur) 22 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Graphic Classics: Oscar Wilde (Auteur) 21 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Big Book of Victorian Mysteries (Contributeur) 19 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Cuentos de amor victorianos (Contributeur) 18 exemplaire(s)
Wild Night Company: Irish Tales of Terror (Contributeur) 17 exemplaire(s)
Twelve Classic One-Act Plays (Contributeur) 15 exemplaire(s)
All verdens fortellere (Auteur, quelques éditions) 15 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Specter! A Chrestomathy of Spookery (Contributeur) 14 exemplaire(s)
Urban Crime Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (Contributeur) 13 exemplaire(s)
Dark Holidays: A Collection of Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 13 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Dare to be Different (Contributeur) 13 exemplaire(s)
The chameleon (Contributeur) 10 exemplaire(s)
Fun Phantoms: Tales of Ghostly Entertainment (Contributeur) 9 exemplaire(s)
A Little Night Reading (Auteur) 9 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Love Stories (Contributeur) 9 exemplaire(s)
The Star Child: A Fairy Tale (Original Author) 8 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thin Air: An Anthology of Ghost Stories (Contributeur) 7 exemplaire(s)
A Treasury of Great Short Stories (Contributeur) 7 exemplaire(s)
Kipling and the Critics (Contributeur) 6 exemplaire(s)
Fear! Fear! Fear! (Contributeur) 6 exemplaire(s)
The Moth and Other Stories (Contributeur) 6 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Jabberwocky 3 (Contributeur) 5 exemplaire(s)
The Selfish Giant [2013 film] (Original book) 4 exemplaire(s)
Six Short Stories (Contributeur) 4 exemplaire(s)
La poesía inglesa románticos y victorianos (Contributeur) 4 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Tredive mesterfortællinger (Auteur, quelques éditions) 3 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Immortal Stories (Contributeur) 3 exemplaire(s)
The Picture of Dorian Gray [1973 TV movie] (Original book) 3 exemplaire(s)
The Canterville Ghost: Opera After Oscar Wilde (Original text) 3 exemplaire(s)
Best Crime Stories (Contributeur) 3 exemplaire(s)
Lady Windermere's Fan [1925 film] (Original book) 3 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Star Child (Clay Classics) [1994 film] (Original story) 2 exemplaire(s)
An Ideal Husband [1999 film] (Original play) 2 exemplaire(s)
An Ideal Husband [1947 film] (Original play) 1 exemplaire
The Fan [1949 film] (Original story) 1 exemplaire
Wakacje Wśród Duchów (Contributeur) 1 exemplaire
Duchy Nocy Kupały 1 exemplaire
Cuentos Requeridos 1 (Contributeur) 1 exemplaire
Fantastyczne Opowieści (Contributeur) 1 exemplaire

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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. He is best remembered for his epigrams, plays, and his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Wilde's parents were Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. A young Wilde learned to speak fluent French and German. At university, Wilde read Greats; he demonstrated himself to be an exceptional classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became associated with the emerging philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles.

As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.

At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde prosecuted the Marquess of Queensberry for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life.
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