Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1854-10-16
Death 1900-11-30
Gender:
Male
Irish (Republic of Ireland)
Latin, Greek, Ancient (to 1453), English, French, Greek, Modern (1453-)

Biographical notes:

Irish writer, poet, and playwright.

From the description of Collection, 1851-1957 (bulk 1877-1957). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122625016

Irish poet, dramatist and novelist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to W.E. Henley, 1889 Jul. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587810

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Paris, to Leonard Smithers, ca. 1900 Feb. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588138

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Worthing, to John Lane of Elkin Mathews, [1894 Sept. 3.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588629

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to W.E. Henley, 1888 Oct. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587802

From the description of Autograph letter : London, to E. Bailly in Paris, ca. 1892 Dec. 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586620

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, D.C., to Richard D'Oyly Carte, 1882 Jan. 24 or 25?. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588568

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 9 Charles Street, Governor Square [London], to Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, ca. 1883. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586716

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Babbacombe Cliff, to John Lane, 1893 Feb. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586762

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to W.E. Henley, 1888 Sept. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587798

From the description of Letter written and signed by a secretary : London, to T.J. Cobden Sanderson, 1888 Dec. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270589298

From the description of Lady Windermere's Fan. Act III : London : autograph manuscript of an early draft, 1891. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270589218

Henry-D. Davray (b. 1873) was a French translator.

From the guide to the Henry-D. Davray translations of Oscar Wilde poems, 1899, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Oscar Wilde was born October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. Throughout his career, he wrote poetry, plays, essays, short stories, and novels, including his most famous work, The Picture of Dorian Gray . Wilde was known for his wit and public speaking, as well as his flamboyant and notorious lifestyle.

From the guide to the Oscar Wilde Letters, 1880-1898, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Irish author.

From the description of LS fragment : London, to an unidentified correspondent, [18]89 June 21. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86156186

From the description of ALS : London, to George Herbert Kersley, [18]90 Feb. 24. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122490310

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 27 [i.e. 29?] Boulevard des Capucines [Paris], to Albert Sterner, ca. 1891 Nov.-Dec. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586686

From the description of ALS : Philadelphia, to Betty Lewis, [1882 Jan. 17]. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122633701

Irish author and dramatist.

From the description of Sonnet : on the sale by auction of Keats' love-letters : AMsS, 1885 Mar. 1. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122365145

From the description of Salomé : drame en une acte / Oscar Wilde : AMs, [1891]. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122490338

From the description of The portrait of Mr W.H. : AMs and related material, [1889?]-1921. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122541927

Oscar O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900), the wit and dramatist. For fuller details of his life and achievements see the Dictionary of National Biography.

From the guide to the Autograph letters and manuscripts of Oscar Wilde, including the manuscript of his play, The Duchess of Padua, with some related material., 1878-1895, (Leeds University Library)

Oscar Wilde was an Irish author and poet; Ada (Mrs. Ernest) Leverson (1859-1936) was an English novelist.

From the description of Telegrams to Ada Leverson, 1893-1895. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 79390473

Wilde was born Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde in Dublin, Ireland, Oct. 16, 1854; attended Trinity College and Magdalen College, Oxford; won Newdigate poetry prize for Ravenna, 1878; his Poems (1881) sold widely, and he made a lecture tour of US in 1882; married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and had two sons; published The picture of Dorian Gray (1884); his plays include Lady Windermere's fan (1893), An ideal husband (1895), and The importance of being Earnest (1895); Wilde was accused of homosexual practices with Lord Alfred Douglas, convicted on a morals charge under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and served two years (1895-97) in Reading Gaol; while imprisoned he wrote De profundis, a letter to Douglas, which was published in 1905; after his release, he wrote The ballad of Reading Gaol (1898); went bankrupt and spent his last years on the European continent; died in Paris, France, in Nov. 30, 1900.

From the description of Oscar Wilde and his literary circle, ca. 1854-1944. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39622668

Irish poet, dramatist & novelist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to W.E. Henley, 1888 Dec. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587805

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to J.E. Millais, 1883 Jul. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587814

Oscar Wilde was a British poet, playwright, novelist, and critic.

From the guide to the Oscar Wilde collection of papers, 1880]-1932, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

Oscar Wilde was an Irish author and poet; Ada (Mrs. Ernest) Leverson (1859-1936)was an English novelist.

From the guide to the Telegrams to Ada Leverson, 1893-1895., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Noted Irish playwright, poet, and lecturer about aesthetics.

From the description of Papers, 1882, 1930s. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 61770058

English poet.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 29 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, to Lady Dorothy, [1891]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857013

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Charley Street, Grosvenor Square [London], to Mr. Bernstein, "Tuesday" [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857018

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : [Western United States] and London, to Mrs. Bernard Beere, [1882] and [1890]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857028

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 29 Boulevard des Capucines [Paris], to Madame Adam, [1890]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857008

From the description of Portion of an autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to an unidentified recipient, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857903

From the description of Letter signed : 16 Tite Street, Chelsea, London, to an unidentified recipient, 1891 May 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270857748

English author.

From the description of Poems en prose [of Oscar Wilde], ca. 1899. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122497062

Oscar Wilde was the editor of Woman's world from 1887-1890.

From the description of [Letter] 1887 Dec. 15, London [to] Mrs. J. Ross / Oscar Wilde. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 516305498

Irish dramatist and poet.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Keats House, Tite Street, Chelsea, to George Grossmith, [1875-1890]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270125291

Oscar Wilde, playwright.

From the description of The importance of being earnest: a serious comedy for trivial people: typescript, 1895. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122465324

From the description of An ideal husband: typescript, 1996. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652498

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, born in 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, was the second son of Sir William Robert and Lady Jane Francesca Wilde. At the age of ten, Wilde entered the well-known Portora Royal School, where he excelled in Greek studies. His interest in Greek continued at Trinity College, Dublin, where John Mahaffy, an eminent Greek scholar who later took Wilde on a tour of Italy, was his tutor.

Wilde was awarded a scholarship in classics from Magdalene College, Oxford, which he entered in 1874. During his fourth year at Oxford, Wilde won the prestigious Newdigate Prize for imitative poetry with a verse praising Ravenna, a city he had visited with Mahaffy and the burial site of Dante. In addition to his studies, Wilde began to develop his role as poseur and aesthete. Wilde received his BA in 1878 and, after an additional year at Oxford, went to London where he began writing.

In 1880 Wilde published Vera; or, The Nihilists, and in 1881 he was hired by Richard D'Oyly Carte to boost Gilbert and Sullivan's new opera Patience in America by means of a lecture tour. Dressed in black velvet and a full length fur coat, he spoke on the new aestheticism from New York to San Francisco. He met with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, and Jefferson Davies, among others.

After America, Wilde went to Paris where he wrote another play while visiting with Zola, Hugo, Degas, Pissarro, and other literary and artistic figures. In 1883 an American producer agreed to produce Vera in New York. Its abbreviated run left Wilde disappointed and he returned to England and Ireland where he lectured and wrote about his experiences in America. While visiting Dublin, he renewed an acquaintance with Constance Lloyd, and in May of 1884 they were married. They moved to London and Wilde spent the next few years writing reviews and essays and giving lectures. They had two sons, Cyril (b. 1885) and Vyvyan (b. 1886).

Wilde began editing Woman's World magazine in 1887, contributed regularly to Pall Mall Gazette, and worked on a collection of fairy tales, which were published in 1888. His critical essay Intentions and The Portrait of Mr. W. H. appeared in 1889, and the first version of The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890. An edited and expanded version of Dorian Gray was published in book form in 1891.

1891 proved an eventful year for Wilde. His second play, The Duchess of Padua, was produced under the title Guido Ferranti . He published a second book of fairy stories, A House of Pomegranates, as well as The Soul of Man under Socialism, and Lord Savile's Crime & Other Stories . Wilde completed another play, Salomé, which the Lord Chamberlain found unsuitable for the English stage. Over the next four years Wilde published Lady Windermere's Fan (1893), A Woman of No Importance (1894), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most enduring theatrical work, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).

In 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry, father of Lord Alfred Douglas ("Bosie"), an intimate of Wilde's, accused Wilde of posing as a sodomite. Wilde sued for libel and a trial began in April of 1896. Wilde withdrew from the case and was subsequently arrested on charges of gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. After two trials he was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum penalty of two years at hard labor. He served the bulk of his sentence at Reading Gaol where the warden provided him with paper to write what became De Profundis .

After his release in 1897, Wilde lived in France, Italy, and Switzerland. He renewed his relationship with Bosie; as a result his wife, Constance, who with their children had fled England during his trial, refused to see him. Constance died in 1898. Wilde underwent an operation for an ear infection in October of 1900 from which he never fully recovered. He died in his Paris hotel room on November 30, 1900.

From the guide to the Oscar Wilde Papers TXRC02-A3., 1851-1957, bulk 1877-1957, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Oscar Wilde embarked on an American tour, in part brokered by Sam Ward. Wilde came to Newport to perform at the Casino Theater and Ward introduced him to his sister Julia Ward Howe. Henry Marion Hall, Howe’s grandson, recalls Wilde’s visit to Howe’s farm in Portsmouth in his memoir Grandmother’s Blue Coach:

"Being a small boy at the time my presence at the tea was not requested, but later I was allowed to accompany the guests down into the vallley. The party included Tom Appleton, the famous Boston wit, Adamowski, leader of the Boston Symphony orchestra, Mrs. Paran Stevens, Lilla Eliott, Grandmother’s nephew F. Marion Crawford, and Oscar Wilde, then at the peak of his popularity. Knowing nothing about a fad then known as 'dress reform' I was bewildered at Wilde’s costume when I walked into the vale beside him. He wore a black velvet jacket, knickerbockers to match, dark silk stockings, and low shoes with glittering buckles. A salmon-colored scarf and slouch hat completed his get-up. It struck me as rather queer, but not half so startling as his hair – long, black, and curling to his shoulders… He held a red rose in one hand and sniffed it as he chatted."

From the guide to the Oscar Wilde invitation, Wilde (Oscar) invitation, 1882, (Newport Historical Society)

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Subjects:

  • Authors, English--19th century--Manuscripts
  • Theater 19th century
  • Letters--19th century
  • English drama--19th century
  • Letters 19th century
  • Trials (slander)
  • Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Art, Victorian
  • English poetry--19th century
  • English poetry Translations into French
  • Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 Correspondence
  • English poetry--19th century--Translations into French
  • Authors, Irish
  • Authors, English--19th century--Archival resources
  • Socialism
  • Auctions--Poetry
  • Authors and publishers
  • Motion picture plays
  • Authors, English--19th century
  • English literature--19th century
  • Literature--British
  • Authors, Irish--19th century--Correspondence
  • Comedy
  • Authors, Irish--19th century
  • Literature
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Trials (slander), Great Britain
  • Drama--Promptbooks and typescripts
  • Drama (English)
  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • French poetry--Translations from English

Occupations:

  • Poets, Irish
  • Publisher
  • Poets
  • Authors
  • Dramatists

Places:

  • Greece (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)