Oscar Wilde is one of the most quotable writers of all time, so here are his most famous quotes as declared throughout his life and works. I don't know what to do." Edward Carson approached Frank Lockwood QC, the Solicitor General and asked "Can we not let up on the fellow now? Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London. Oscar was two years younger than his brother, William (Willie) Wilde. His only remaining work, however, was The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), revealing his concern for inhumane prison conditions. Intentions packaged revisions of four essays: The Decay of Lying; Pen, Pencil and Poison; The Truth of Masks (first published 1885); and The Critic as Artist in two parts. [184] "I intend to be received into the Catholic Church before long", Wilde told a journalist who asked about his religious intentions. At the same time, he stressed that the government most amenable to artists was no government at all. It was published in 1893, and an English translation appeared in 1894 with Aubrey Beardsley’s celebrated illustrations. [4] He also wrote books about Irish archaeology and peasant folklore. He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895–97). In the latter, his greatest achievement, the conventional elements of farce are transformed into satiric epigrams—seemingly trivial but mercilessly exposing Victorian hypocrisies. Oakum was a substance used to seal gaps in shipbuilding. A renowned philanthropist, his dispensary for the care of the city's poor at the rear of Trinity College, Dublin, was the forerunner of the Dublin Eye and Ear Hospital, now located at Adelaide Road. Oscar Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row, Dublin (now home of the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College), the second of three children born to an Anglo-Irish couple: Jane, née Elgee and Sir William Wilde. Aestheticism was sufficiently in vogue to be caricatured by Gilbert and Sullivan in Patience (1881). The scene was witnessed by George Bernard Shaw who recalled it to Arthur Ransome a day or so before Ransome's trial for libelling Douglas in 1913. Soon the periodical Punch made him the satiric object of its antagonism to the Aesthetes for what was considered their unmasculine devotion to art. [21] He was encouraged to compete for a demyship (a half-scholarship worth £95 (£8,900 today) per year)[22] to Magdalen College, Oxford – which he won easily. According to Fox's testimony in Donahoe's Magazine in 1905, Jane Wilde would visit his chapel in Glencree, County Wicklow, for Mass and would take her sons with her. When the church was closed, the records were moved to the nearby St. Ann's Church, Dawson Street. [146] Wilde and Douglas walked out in a huff, Wilde saying "it is at such moments as these that one sees who are one's true friends". Pray do what you can" he wrote to his publisher. When Wilde eagerly attended Ruskin's lecture series The Aesthetic and Mathematic Schools of Art in Florence, he learned about aesthetics as the non-mathematical elements of painting. Gratis ausprobieren The Life of Oscar Wilde. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. Under the 1843 Libel Act, Queensberry could avoid conviction for libel only by demonstrating that his accusation was in fact true, and furthermore that there was some "public benefit" to having made the accusation openly. While studying at Oxford in the 1870s, he gained notice as a scholar, poseur, wit, and poet and for his devotion to the Aesthetic movement, which held that art should exist for its beauty alone. the daisies grow", Wilde left Portora with a royal scholarship to read classics at Trinity College, Dublin, from 1871 to 1874,[17] sharing rooms with his older brother Willie Wilde. 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 … [83], During the late 1880s, Wilde was a close friend of the artist James McNeill Whistler and they dined together on many occasions. [58][note 2] Originally planned to last four months, it continued for almost a year due to the commercial success. 3 Favorites . [210], In 2017, Wilde was among an estimated 50,000 men who were pardoned for homosexual acts that were no longer considered offences under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967). I am thirty-nine or forty. Wilde later established himself in London’s social and artistic circles. Queensberry had planned to insult Wilde publicly by throwing a bouquet of rotting vegetables onto the stage; Wilde was tipped off and had Queensberry barred from entering the theatre. When Gray, who has a "face like ivory and rose leaves", sees his finished portrait, he breaks down. [27], Catholicism deeply appealed to him, especially its rich liturgy, and he discussed converting to it with clergy several times. [61], Wilde and aestheticism were both mercilessly caricatured and criticised in the press; the Springfield Republican, for instance, commented on Wilde's behaviour during his visit to Boston to lecture on aestheticism, suggesting that Wilde's conduct was more a bid for notoriety rather than devotion to beauty and the aesthetic. On his release, he gave the manuscript to Ross, who may or may not have carried out Wilde's instructions to send a copy to Douglas (who later denied having received it). She wrote patriotic Irish verse under the pseudonym "Speranza". [93] Ransome concludes that Wilde succeeds precisely because the literary criticism is unveiled with such a deft touch. Wilde envisioned a society where mechanisation has freed human effort from the burden of necessity, effort which can instead be expended on artistic creation. A second society comedy, A Woman of No Importance (produced 1893), convinced the critic William Archer that Wilde’s plays “must be taken on the very highest plane of modern English drama.” In rapid succession, Wilde’s final plays, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, were produced early in 1895. Wilde was released from prison on 19 May 1897[182] and sailed that evening for Dieppe, France. [205] Different opinions are given as to the cause of the disease: Richard Ellmann claimed it was syphilitic; Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson, thought this to be a misconception, noting that Wilde's meningitis followed a surgical intervention, perhaps a mastoidectomy; Wilde's physicians, Dr Paul Cleiss and A'Court Tucker, reported that the condition stemmed from an old suppuration of the right ear (from the prison injury, see above) treated for several years (une ancienne suppuration de l'oreille droite d'ailleurs en traitement depuis plusieurs années) and made no allusion to syphilis. On his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. Wilde did retain a lifelong interest in Catholic theology and liturgy. The photographs of Oscar Wilde taken by Napoleon Sarony in New York, 1882 (complete). Cavill, Paul, Heather Ward, Matthew Baynham, and Andrew Swinford, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young, decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)", "Oscar Wilde's money diary: how the Irish playwright lived in debt", "Attribution of 'I have nothing to declare except my genius, Review: The Soul of Man under Socialism by Oscar Wilde, "Deceptive Picture: How Oscar Wilde painted over "Dorian Gray, "Classics Corner: The Picture of Dorian Gray", "The 100 best novels: No 27 – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891)", "An introduction to Lady Windermere's Fan", "Testimony of Oscar Wilde on Direct Examination (April 3,1895)", "Testimony of Oscar Wilde on Cross Examination (April 3,1895)(Literary Part)", Offences Against the Person Act 1861, ss 61, 62, Transcript of Wilde's trial, published online by University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Trial of Oscar Fingal O'Fflahartie Wills Wilde, Alfred Waterhouse Somerset Taylor, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Introduction), The Christian tradition in English literature: poetry, plays, and shorter prose, "DEATH OF OSCAR WILDE; He Expires at an Obscure Hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854 to Sir William Wilde and his wife Jane. In his semiconscious final moments, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, which he had long admired. Wilde though, not content with being better known than ever in London, returned to Paris in October 1891, this time as a respected writer. [183] He never returned to the UK. So said Oscar Wilde of his remarkable life – a life more complex, more erotic, more troubled and more triumphant than any of his contemporaries ever knew or suspected. [36] Ruskin despaired at the self-validating aestheticism of Pater, arguing that the importance of art lies in its potential for the betterment of society. He characterised the first as a "prose sonnet" and admitted that the "poetical language" might seem strange to the court but claimed its intent was innocent. At the High Court in London in April 1913 Douglas lost the libel action after a reading of De Profundis refuted his claims. Oscar Wilde was a noted Irish playwright, novelist, poet and essayist, born in the middle of the nineteenth century into an intellectual family. Wilde wrote to a friend, "The dons are 'astonied' beyond words – the Bad Boy doing so well in the end! [36], Wilde won the 1878 Newdigate Prize for his poem "Ravenna", which reflected on his visit there the year before, and he duly read it at Encaenia. Start your free 30 day trial at http://audible.com/nerdyandquirkyFilling out the ranks of tragic artists in Oscar Wilde: acclaimed author and LGBTQ+ icon. "[198][199] Turner was one of the few of the old circle who remained with Wilde to the end and was at his bedside when he died. [193], Wilde's final address was at the dingy Hôtel d'Alsace (now known as L'Hôtel), on rue des Beaux-Arts in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. Wilde, who was earning up to £100 a week from his plays (his salary at The Woman's World had been £6), indulged Douglas's every whim: material, artistic, or sexual. To be in it is merely a bore. [130] "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young" was to come under attack six months later at Wilde's trial, where he was forced to defend the magazine to which he had sent his work. The extent of the evidence massed against Wilde forced him to declare meekly, "I am the prosecutor in this case". In mid-1891 Lionel Johnson introduced Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas, Johnson's cousin and an undergraduate at Oxford at the time. Richard B. Haldane, the Liberal MP and reformer, visited Wilde and had him transferred in November to Reading Gaol, 30 miles (48 km) west of London[175] on 23 November 1895. Premieres at St James's seemed like "brilliant parties", and the opening of The Importance of Being Earnest was no exception. Wilde stated that the letters had been obtained by blackmailers who had attempted to extort money from him, but he had refused, suggesting they should take the £60 (equal to £7,000 today) offered, "unusual for a prose piece of that length". The only evidence for this is two supposed puns within the sonnets themselves.[89]. [73], Criticism over artistic matters in The Pall Mall Gazette provoked a letter in self-defence, and soon Wilde was a contributor to that and other journals during 1885–87. ', and 'To live is the rarest thing in the world. He became associated with the emerging philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. My only mistake was that I confined myself so exclusively to the trees of what seemed to me the sun-lit side of the garden, and shunned the other side for its shadow and its gloom.[181]. Enjoy the best Oscar Wilde Quotes at BrainyQuote. That is all. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. May 25, 2018. [25] During a resurgent interest in Freemasonry in his third year, he commented he "would be awfully sorry to give it up if I secede from the Protestant Heresy". [208] In 2011, the tomb was cleaned of the many lipstick marks left there by admirers and a glass barrier was installed to prevent further marks or damage.[209]. George Orwell summarised, "In effect, the world will be populated by artists, each striving after perfection in the way that seems best to him. [190] It was an immediate roaring commercial success, going through seven editions in less than two years, only after which "[Oscar Wilde]" was added to the title page, though many in literary circles had known Wilde to be the author. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years' hard labour, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. The 2017 Act implements what is known informally as the Alan Turing law. In addition to his children with his wife, Sir William Wilde was the father of three children born out of wedlock before his marriage: Henry Wilson, born in 1838 to one woman, and Emily and Mary Wilde, born in 1847 and 1849, respectively, to a second woman. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine. [3], William Wilde was Ireland's leading oto-ophthalmologic (ear and eye) surgeon and was knighted in 1864 for his services as medical adviser and assistant commissioner to the censuses of Ireland. He had continued his interest in the theatre and now, after finding his voice in prose, his thoughts turned again to the dramatic form as the biblical iconography of Salome filled his mind. Often speculative in nature, it was widely criticised for its pure conjecture and lack of scholarly rigour. [45] Unusually, no prize was awarded that year. [40] "Harper's Weekly put a sunflower-worshipping monkey dressed as Wilde on the front of the January 1882 issue. [238], This article is about the 19th-century author. [7] Davis Coakley mentions a second baptism by a Catholic priest, Father Prideaux Fox, who befriended Oscar's mother circa 1859. [172] In November he collapsed during chapel from illness and hunger. Wilde's life has been the subject of numerous biographies since his death. [34] Pater argued that man's sensibility to beauty should be refined above all else, and that each moment should be felt to its fullest extent. He realised that his ordeal had filled his soul with the fruit of experience, however bitter it tasted at the time. In the retrial he was found guilty and sentenced, in May 1895, to two years at hard labour. The final trial was presided over by Mr Justice Wills. [122] The success of the play saw Wilde earn £7,000 in the first year alone (worth £766,800 today). The anonymous narrator is at first sceptical, then believing, finally flirtatious with the reader: he concludes that "there is really a great deal to be said of the Willie Hughes theory of Shakespeare's sonnets. [140] The Importance of Being Earnest remains his most popular play.[141]. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. His right ear drum was ruptured in the fall, an injury that later contributed to his death. [24], Attracted by its dress, secrecy, and ritual, Wilde petitioned the Apollo Masonic Lodge at Oxford, and was soon raised to the "Sublime Degree of Master Mason". [173][174] He spent two months in the infirmary.[35][173]. In 2000, Leon Johnson, a multimedia artist, installed a silver prosthesis to replace them. [94] "You must believe in Willie Hughes," Wilde told an acquaintance, "I almost do, myself. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. [77], The initial vigour and excitement which he brought to the job began to fade as administration, commuting and office life became tedious. Oscar was two years younger than his brother, William (Willie) Wilde. Robbie Ross found Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel,[159] Pont Street, Knightsbridge, with Reginald Turner; both men advised Wilde to go at once to Dover and try to get a boat to France; his mother advised him to stay and fight. Wilde: "The love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Wilde was a reviewer for the Pall Mall Gazette and then became editor of Woman’s World (1887–89). He wore his hair long, openly scorned "manly" sports though he occasionally boxed,[25] and he decorated his rooms with peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers, blue china and other objets d'art. [88] It is a short story, which reports a conversation, in which the theory that Shakespeare's sonnets were written out of the poet's love of the boy actor "Willie Hughes", is advanced, retracted, and then propounded again. Queensberry was found not guilty, as the court declared that his accusation that Wilde was "posing as a Somdomite [sic]" was justified, "true in substance and in fact". [103] The story begins with a man painting a picture of Gray. During the latter part of 1897, Wilde and Douglas lived together near Naples for a few months until they were separated by their families under the threat of cutting off all funds. '"[40] Though his press reception was hostile, Wilde was well received in diverse settings across America; he drank whiskey with miners in Leadville, Colorado, and was fêted at the most fashionable salons in many cities he visited. [11] At Portora, although he was not as popular as his older brother, Oscar Wilde impressed his peers with the humorous and inventive school stories he told. Oscar Wilde, in full Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, (born October 16, 1854, Dublin, Ireland—died November 30, 1900, Paris, France), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Updates? A young Wilde learned to speak fluent French and German. I never travel without my diary. [41] Wilde was disappointed but stoic: he wrote to her, remembering "the two sweet years – the sweetest years of all my youth" during which they had been close. The memorial, above the monument to Geoffrey Chaucer, was unveiled by his grandson Merlin Holland, while Sir John Gielgud read from the final part of De Profundis and Dame Judi Dench read an extract from The Importance of Being Earnest. In mid-1881, at 27 years old, he published Poems, which collected, revised and expanded his poems. [235] Thomas Louis, who had earlier translated books on Wilde into French, produced his own L'esprit d'Oscar Wilde in 1920. Wilde's professional success was mirrored by an escalation in his feud with Queensberry. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. In his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (published in Lippincott’s Magazine, 1890, and in book form, revised and expanded by six chapters, 1891), Wilde combined the supernatural elements of the Gothic novel with the unspeakable sins of French decadent fiction. Though containing nothing but "special pleading", it would not, he says "be possible to build an airier castle in Spain than this of the imaginary William Hughes" we continue listening nonetheless to be charmed by the telling. On 18 February 1895, the Marquess left his calling card at Wilde's club, the Albemarle, inscribed: "For Oscar Wilde, posing somdomite" [sic]. She had distant Italian ancestry,[1] and under the pseudonym "Speranza" (the Italian word for 'hope'), she wrote poetry for the revolutionary Young Irelanders in 1848; she was a lifelong Irish nationalist. [158] Under the Libel Act 1843, Queensberry's acquittal rendered Wilde legally liable for the considerable expenses Queensberry had incurred in his defence, which left Wilde bankrupt. [230][231] Thomas Wright's Oscar's Books (2008) explores Wilde's reading from his childhood in Dublin to his death in Paris. 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. "[38][39], After graduation from Oxford, Wilde returned to Dublin, where he met again Florence Balcombe, a childhood sweetheart. Douglas lost his case. Wilde, age forty, had earlier stated he was thirty-nine years old at the beginning of his direct examination by Clarke. [29], While at Magdalen College, Wilde became particularly well known for his role in the aesthetic and decadent movements. [153][note 6] Playing on this, he returned to the topic throughout his cross-examination. [63], His earnings, plus expected income from The Duchess of Padua, allowed him to move to Paris between February and mid-May 1883. [31] Wilde was once physically attacked by a group of four fellow students, and dealt with them single-handedly, surprising critics. At one of these dinners, Whistler said a bon mot that Wilde found particularly witty, Wilde exclaimed that he wished that he had said it, and Whistler retorted "You will, Oscar, you will". He proposed to her, and they married on 29 May 1884 at the Anglican St James's Church, Paddington, in London. "Carson began by emphasizing that at this point in the novel, Dorian is an 'innocent young man'."). While there he met Robert Sherard, whom he entertained constantly. Oscar Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row, Dublin (now home of the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College), the second of three children born to an Anglo-Irish couple: Jane, née Elgee and Sir William Wilde. Wilde, lapsing into inaction, could only say, "The train has gone. On 25 May 1895 Wilde and Alfred Taylor were convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labour. Wilde spent mid-1897 with Robert Ross in the seaside village of Berneval-le-Grand in northern France, where he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol, narrating the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, who murdered his wife in a rage at her infidelity. Wilde admitted being on a first-name basis and lavishing gifts upon them, but insisted that nothing untoward had occurred and that the men were merely good friends of his. [102] 1891 turned out to be Wilde's annus mirabilis; apart from his three collections he also produced his only novel. Wilde juxtaposes the executed man and himself with the line "Yet each man kills the thing he loves". Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This he did in 1878, only briefly visiting Ireland twice after that. He enjoyed reviewing and journalism; the form suited his style. Neil McKenna's 2003 biography, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, offers an exploration of Wilde's sexuality. Wilde became devoted to Aestheticism during these Oxford years (see "Oscar Wilde's Aesthetics" in Critical Essays at the end of this book for more information on the Aesthetic movement). In addition, his close friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas, whom he had met in 1891, infuriated the marquess of Queensberry, Douglas’s father. Oscar Wilde came from a prominent family. Reviews There are no reviews yet. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. He was deeply impressed by the teachings of the English writers John Ruskin and Walter Pater on the central importance of art in life and particularly by the latter’s stress on the aesthetic intensity by which life should be lived. He died suddenly of acute meningitis brought on by an ear infection. Neither his father, who threatened to cut off his funds, nor Mahaffy thought much of the plan; but Wilde, the supreme individualist, balked at the last minute from pledging himself to any formal creed, and on the appointed day of his baptism, sent Father Bowden a bunch of altar lilies instead. comment. "[90] By the end fact and fiction have melded together. DOWNLOAD OPTIONS … [147][148], The libel trial became a cause célèbre as salacious details of Wilde's private life with Taylor and Douglas began to appear in the press. Omissions? [206], Wilde was initially buried in the Cimetière de Bagneux outside Paris; in 1909 his remains were disinterred and transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery, inside the city. After a few weeks I baptized these two children, Lady Wilde herself being present on the occasion. "[213][214][215], The Oscar Wilde Temple, an installation by visual artists McDermott & McGough, opened in 2017 in cooperation with Church of the Village in New York City,[216] then moved to Studio Voltaire in London the next year.[217][218]. [236] Modern books include Philippe Jullian's Oscar Wilde,[237] and L'affaire Oscar Wilde, ou, Du danger de laisser la justice mettre le nez dans nos draps (The Oscar Wilde Affair, or, On the Danger of Allowing Justice to put its Nose in our Sheets) by Odon Vallet, a French religious historian. [13] He was one of only three students at Portora to win a Royal School scholarship to Trinity in 1871. And if I catch you and my son again in any public restaurant I will thrash you" to which Wilde responded: "I don't know what the Queensberry rules are, but the Oscar Wilde rule is to shoot on sight". [85] The Reminiscences also caused great acrimony between Wilde and Vivian, Wilde accusing Vivian of "the inaccuracy of an eavesdropper with the method of a blackmailer"[86] and banishing Vivian from his circle. Unlike Wilde's idealised relations with Ross, John Gray, and Douglas, all of whom remained part of his aesthetic circle, these consorts were uneducated and knew nothing of literature. [48][49], He had been publishing lyrics and poems in magazines since entering Trinity College, especially in Kottabos and the Dublin University Magazine. [110] Modern critic Robin McKie considered the novel to be technically mediocre, saying that the conceit of the plot had guaranteed its fame, but the device is never pushed to its full. [18] Wilde, despite later reservations, called Mahaffy "my first and best teacher" and "the scholar who showed me how to love Greek things". Wilde journeyed on the SS Arizona, arriving 2 January 1882, and disembarking the following day. "[140] The first half concludes with Wilde forgiving Douglas, for his own sake as much as Douglas's. [40] Wilde believed that the artist should hold forth higher ideals, and that pleasure and beauty would replace utilitarian ethics. [79] Increasingly sending instructions to the magazine by letter, Wilde began a new period of creative work and his own column appeared less regularly. The life of Oscar Wilde | | ISBN: | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. [14], Until his early twenties, Wilde summered at the villa, Moytura House, which his father had built in Cong, County Mayo. It's too late. T-Shirts!→→ https://shop.spreadshirt.com/biographics/→Subscribe for new videos every Monday and Thursday! Editor's note: Today (Oct 16) would have been Oscar Wilde's 166th birthday!While Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, he is undoubtedly a giant of the English language and a literary legend to be celebrated. Most of his sentence was served at Reading Gaol, where he wrote a long letter to Douglas (published in 1905 in a drastically cut version as De Profundis) filled with recriminations against the younger man for encouraging him in dissipation and distracting him from his work. [191][192] It brought him a small amount of money. His father, Sir William Wilde, was an eminent Victorian and a doctor of aural surgery. Home; Biography; Career; Photos; Quotes; Works; Business. The events that would bring Oscar Wilde to Old Bailey began four years earlier in the summer of 1891 when Wilde, ... "I don't see anything now but a criminal prosecution," Wilde wrote. In the early 1880s, when Aestheticism was the rage and despair of literary London, Wilde established himself in social and artistic circles by his wit and flamboyance. [10] He joined his brother Willie at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, which he attended from 1864 to 1871. He became more serious in 1878, when he met the Reverend Sebastian Bowden, a priest in the Brompton Oratory who had received some high-profile converts. That it should be so, the world does not understand. "[157] Carson pressed him on the answer, repeatedly asking why the boy's ugliness was relevant. "[30] The line quickly became famous, accepted as a slogan by aesthetes but used against them by critics who sensed in it a terrible vacuousness. In 1877, Wilde was left speechless after an audience with Pope Pius IX in Rome. 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. She became engaged to Bram Stoker and they married in 1878. [167] Wilde was freed from Holloway and, shunning attention, went into hiding at the house of Ernest and Ada Leverson, two of his firm friends. Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 78; Folio: 56; Page: 46; GSU roll: 1341017. Oscar Wilde Biography. He wandered the boulevards alone and spent what little money he had on alcohol. [144] Queensberry's lawyers thus hired private detectives to find evidence of Wilde's homosexual liaisons. Later in life he claimed that his fellow students had regarded him as a "prodigy" for his ability to speed read, claiming that he could read two facing pages simultaneously and consume a three-volume book in half an hour, retaining enough information to give a basic account of the plot. In his opening speech for the defence, Carson announced that he had located several male prostitutes who were to testify that they had had sex with Wilde. On the advice of his lawyers, Wilde dropped the prosecution. On the surface a witty comedy, there is subtle subversion underneath: "it concludes with collusive concealment rather than collective disclosure". All women become like their mothers. The librarian, who had requested the book for the library, returned the presentation copy to Wilde with a note of apology. "My whole life seems ruined by this man. "I dreamt that I had died, and was supping with the dead!" He could organise and share his views on art, literature and life, yet in a format less tedious than lecturing. [85], Wilde published The Happy Prince and Other Tales in 1888, and had been regularly writing fairy stories for magazines. [194] He corrected and published An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, the proofs of which, according to Ellmann, show a man "very much in command of himself and of the play" but he refused to write anything else: "I can write, but have lost the joy of writing".[195]. Be the first one to write a review. Retrieved 2 March 2010. Carson, a leading barrister, diverged from the normal practice of asking closed questions. Oscar Wilde, in full Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, (born October 16, 1854, Dublin, Ireland—died November 30, 1900, Paris, France), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). [44] The Rise of Historical Criticism was his submission for the Chancellor's Essay prize of 1879, which, though no longer a student, he was still eligible to enter. Shaw included an account of the argument between Harris, Douglas and Wilde in the preface to his play The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. W.H., his essay-story on Shakespeare's sonnets, in a new anthology in 1891, but eventually decided to limit it to purely aesthetic subjects. Corrections? The Wildes' new home was larger. 886 Views . [76] He promptly renamed it as The Woman's World and raised its tone, adding serious articles on parenting, culture, and politics, while keeping discussions of fashion and arts. [166] The judge described the sentence, the maximum allowed, as "totally inadequate for a case such as this", and that the case was "the worst case I have ever tried". Dramaturgy, Mainstage, The Picture of Dorian Gray . Intentions (1891), consisting of previously published essays, restated his aesthetic attitude toward art by borrowing ideas from the French poets Théophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire and the American painter James McNeill Whistler. I did not know that when they were to strike at me it was to be at another's piping and at another's pay."[129]. [155] Carson also tried to justify Queensberry's characterisation by quoting from Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, referring in particular to a scene in the second chapter, in which Lord Henry Wotton explains his decadent philosophy to Dorian, an "innocent young man", in Carson's words. Early Years. "[160] On 6 April 1895, Wilde was arrested for "gross indecency" under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, a term meaning homosexual acts not amounting to buggery (an offence under a separate statute). He did not wish to bear Queensberry's insults, but he knew to confront him could lead to disaster were his liaisons disclosed publicly. The article alleged that Wilde had a habit of passing off other people's witticisms as his own—especially Whistler's. [137] It was first performed on 14 February 1895, at St James's Theatre in London, Wilde's second collaboration with George Alexander, the actor-manager. Urged to flee to France by his friends, Wilde refused, unable to believe that his world was at an end. That’s his. And outcasts always mourn. An intimate friendship sprang up between Wilde and Douglas and by 1893 Wilde was infatuated with Douglas and they consorted together regularly in a tempestuous affair. 1960 erschienen zwei britische Filme, die das Leben Oscar Wildes, insbesondere seine Gerichtsprozesse zum Thema haben: Oscar Wilde von Gregory Ratoff mit Robert Morley als Oscar Wilde und Der Mann mit der grünen Nelke (The Trials of Oscar Wilde) von Ken Hughes mit Peter Finch in der Hauptrolle. Wilde testified brilliantly, but the jury failed to reach a verdict. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The magazine didn't let its reputation for quality impede its expression of what are now considered odious ethnic and racial ideologies. [136], The play, now considered Wilde's masterpiece, was rapidly written in Wilde's artistic maturity in late 1894. Wilde's parents were Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. [135] Though trying to remain calm, Wilde saw that he was becoming ensnared in a brutal family quarrel. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. [161][162] At Wilde's instruction, Ross and Wilde's butler forced their way into the bedroom and library of 16 Tite Street, packing some personal effects, manuscripts, and letters. The Life of Oscar Wilde. Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, in Dublin, Ireland. By 25 November 1900 Wilde had developed meningitis, then called "cerebral meningitis". "[97] In his only political text, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, he argued political conditions should establish this primacy – private property should be abolished, and cooperation should be substituted for competition. They had preached to others for so long on the subject of design that people expected their home to set new standards. [152] To undermine Wilde's credibility, and to justify Queensberry's description of Wilde as a "posing somdomite", Carson drew from the witness an admission of his capacity for "posing", by demonstrating that he had lied about his age under oath. [149], The trial opened at the Old Bailey on 3 April 1895 before Justice Richard Henn Collins amid scenes of near hysteria both in the press and the public galleries. Oscar Wilde's unconventional life began with an equally unconventional family. [178] In reflective mode, Wilde coldly examines his career to date, how he had been a colourful agent provocateur in Victorian society, his art, like his paradoxes, seeking to subvert as well as sparkle. The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. With both his parents' success and delight in social life, the house soon became the site of a "unique medical and cultural milieu". The tower of ivory is assailed by the foul thing. [82] The magazine outlasted him by one issue. "[91], Wilde, having tired of journalism, had been busy setting out his aesthetic ideas more fully in a series of longer prose pieces which were published in the major literary-intellectual journals of the day. The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. [220] Frank Harris, his friend and editor, wrote a biography, Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions (1916); though prone to exaggeration and sometimes factually inaccurate, it offers a good literary portrait of Wilde. [5][6], Wilde was baptised as an infant in St. Mark's Church, Dublin, the local Church of Ireland (Anglican) church. His discussion of the dismissal of Warder Martin for giving biscuits to an anaemic child prisoner repeated the themes of the corruption and degeneration of punishment that he had earlier outlined in The Soul of Man under Socialism.[187]. 1 Merrion Square, where Wilde's sister, Isola, was born in 1857. The transfer itself was the lowest point of his incarceration, as a crowd jeered and spat at him on the railway platform. [223] In 1954 Wilde's son Vyvyan Holland published his memoir Son of Oscar Wilde, which recounts the difficulties Wilde's wife and children faced after his imprisonment. In 2018, Matthew Sturgis' Oscar: A Life, was published in London. Robbie Ross arrived on 29 November, sent for a priest, and Wilde was conditionally baptised into the Catholic Church by Fr Cuthbert Dunne, a Passionist priest from Dublin,[200][201] Wilde having been baptised in the Church of Ireland and having moreover a recollection of Catholic baptism as a child, a fact later attested to by the minister of the sacrament, Fr Lawrence Fox. Pity's long-broken urn, Then Carson asked Wilde directly whether he had ever kissed a certain servant boy, Wilde responded, "Oh, dear no. "[180] Wilde blamed himself, though, for the ethical degradation of character that he allowed Douglas to bring about in him and took responsibility for his own fall, "I am here for having tried to put your father in prison. The second half of the letter traces Wilde's spiritual journey of redemption and fulfilment through his prison reading. The book incorporates rediscovered letters and other documents and is the most extensively researched biography of Wilde to appear since 1988. During this period of apprenticeship as a writer, he published The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888), which reveals his gift for romantic allegory in the form of the fairy tale. [211], On 14 February 1995, Wilde was commemorated with a stained-glass window at Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Most people exist, that is all.' It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ', 'Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. of Classical Moderations and Literae Humaniores (Greats). Wilde's counsel, Sir Edward Clarke, was finally able to get a magistrate to allow Wilde and his friends to post bail. Indeed I was fully satisfied that he understood me when told that I was about to receive him into the Catholic Church and gave him the Last Sacraments... And when I repeated close to his ear the Holy Names, the Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Charity, with acts of humble resignation to the Will of God, he tried all through to say the words after me. When the National Republican discussed Wilde, it was to explain 'a few items as to the animal's pedigree.' His own estimation of himself was: one who "stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age". [42] He also stated his intention to "return to England, probably for good." Hörbuch. [212], In 2014 Wilde was one of the inaugural honorees in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a walk of fame in San Francisco's Castro neighbourhood noting LGBTQ people who have "made significant contributions in their fields. She asked Father Fox in this period to baptise her sons.[8]. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.[164][165]. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. I know that would be equally fatal. Ruskin admired beauty, but believed it must be allied with, and applied to, moral good. Wilde replied that he did not believe in social barriers, and simply enjoyed the society of young men. Wishing to reinforce the association, Wilde published, at his own expense, Poems (1881), which echoed, too faithfully, his discipleship to the poets Algernon Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Keats. [78] At the same time as Wilde's interest flagged, the publishers became concerned anew about circulation: sales, at the relatively high price of one shilling, remained low. Soon Wilde was sufficiently confined to his hotel to joke, on one of his final trips outside, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. In the final decade of his life, Wilde wrote and published nearly all of his major work. [35] He learned tracts of the book by heart, and carried it with him on travels in later years. He took the name "Sebastian Melmoth", after Saint Sebastian and the titular character of Melmoth the Wanderer (a Gothic novel by Charles Maturin, Wilde's great-uncle). Critics charged immorality despite Dorian’s self-destruction; Wilde, however, insisted on the amoral nature of art regardless of an apparently moral ending. In 1884 Wilde married Constance Lloyd, daughter of a prominent Irish barrister; two children, Cyril and Vyvyan, were born, in 1885 and 1886. I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. Wilde's final play again returns to the theme of switched identities: the play's two protagonists engage in "bunburying" (the maintenance of alternative personas in the town and country) which allows them to escape Victorian social mores. The life and works of Oscar Wilde Tekst/illustrasjoner: Brigid McCauley/Clipart.com Filospørsmål og oppgaver: Øyvind Olsholt Sist oppdatert: 30. desember 2003 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a brilliant author, playwright, and wit. [50], Though the book sold out its first print run of 750 copies it was not generally well received by the critics, Punch for example saying "The poet is Wilde, but his poetry's tame". After Wilde left the court, a warrant for his arrest was applied for on charges of sodomy and gross indecency. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. Within the conventions of the French “well-made play” (with its social intrigues and artificial devices to resolve conflict), he employed his paradoxical, epigrammatic wit to create a form of comedy new to the 19th-century English theatre. Wilde was later transferred to London’s Reading Gaol, where he remained until his release in 1897. [179] It was from these heights that his life with Douglas began, and Wilde examines that particularly closely, repudiating him for what Wilde finally sees as his arrogance and vanity: he had not forgotten Douglas' remark, when he was ill, "When you are not on your pedestal you are not interesting. Wilde’s case collapsed, however, when the evidence went against him, and he dropped the suit. [105] Wilde vigorously responded, writing to the editor of the Scots Observer, in which he clarified his stance on ethics and aesthetics in art – "If a work of art is rich and vital and complete, those who have artistic instincts will see its beauty and those to whom ethics appeal more strongly will see its moral lesson. Oscar's mother, Lady Jane Francesca Wilde (1820-1896), was a successful poet and journalist. [150] Wilde's lawyer, Sir Edward George Clarke, opened the case by pre-emptively asking Wilde about two suggestive letters Wilde had written to Douglas, which the defence had in its possession. For his mourners will be outcast men, He spent the first several months at London’s Pentonville Prison, where he was put to work picking oakum. Although he was temporarily expelled from Oxford in 1877 for a long absence without permission, he earned a rare "double first" in Lady Windermere's Fan was first performed on 20 February 1892 at St James's Theatre, packed with the cream of society. dc.title: The Life Of Oscar Wilde. [80][81] In October 1889, Wilde had finally found his voice in prose and, at the end of the second volume, Wilde left The Woman's World. [75] Wilde, like his parents before him, also supported the cause of Irish nationalism. One of us has got to go". He suggested that it be published in Reynolds' Magazine, "because it circulates widely among the criminal classes – to which I now belong – for once I will be read by my peers – a new experience for me". "I do not say that you are it, but you look it, and pose at it, which is just as bad. "[98], This point of view did not align him with the Fabians, intellectual socialists who advocated using state apparatus to change social conditions, nor did it endear him to the monied classes whom he had previously entertained. Appendix (p. 427-448): Oscar Wilde at Chickering Hall; Oscar Wilde's lecture in English provinces on the "House beautiful"; Oscar Wilde's lecture in Dublin on "The value of art in modern life"; Oscar Wilde's lecture in Dublin on "Dress." Despite constant money problems, he maintained, as George Bernard Shaw said, “an unconquerable gaiety of soul” that sustained him, and he was visited by such loyal friends as Max Beerbohm and Robert Ross, later his literary executor; he was also reunited with Douglas. In the same year, rehearsals of his macabre play Salomé, written in French and designed, as he said, to make his audience shudder by its depiction of unnatural passion, were halted by the censor because it contained biblical characters. These infrequent rendezvous usually took the same form: Wilde would meet the boy, offer him gifts, dine him privately and then take him to a hotel room. But to be out of it simply a tragedy. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. [196] On 12 October 1900 he sent a telegram to Ross: "Terribly weak. Buoyed up, his reviews were largely chatty and positive. He was also known for his wit, his flamboyance, and his trials and jail sentence for homosexual acts. "[107][108], Contemporary reviewers and modern critics have postulated numerous possible sources of the story, a search Jershua McCormack argues is futile because Wilde "has tapped a root of Western folklore so deep and ubiquitous that the story has escaped its origins and returned to the oral tradition. His mother, who wrote under the name Speranza, was a revolutionary poet and an authority on Celtic myth and folklore. During these four years, he distinguished himself not only as a Classical scholar, a poseur, and a wit but also as a poet by winning the coveted Newdigate Prize in 1878 with a long poem, Ravenna. [128] Known to his family and friends as "Bosie", he was a handsome and spoilt young man. 4,05 21 5 Verfasser: Hesketh Pearson Sprecher: Simon Russell Beale. It was ruinous advice. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dare not speak its name", and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. [62], According to biographer Michèle Mendelssohn, Wilde was the subject of anti-Irish caricature and was portrayed as a monkey, a blackface performer and a Christy's Minstrel throughout his career. With his youth nearly over, and a family to support, in mid-1887 Wilde became the editor of The Lady's World magazine, his name prominently appearing on the cover. Like many in his generation, Wilde was determined to follow Pater’s urging “to burn always with [a] hard, gemlike flame.” But Wilde also delighted in affecting an aesthetic pose; this, combined with rooms at Oxford decorated with objets d’art, resulted in his famous remark, “Oh, would that I could live up to my blue china!”. [121] The audience, like Lady Windermere, are forced to soften harsh social codes in favour of a more nuanced view. On his mother's side, Wilde's ancestors included a bricklayer from County Durham, who emigrated to Ireland sometime in the 1770s. Is Said to Have Died from Meningitis, but There Is a Rumor that He Committed Suicide", "Walling Off Oscar Wilde's Tomb From Admirers' Kisses", "Turing's Law: Oscar Wilde among 50,000 convicted gay men granted posthumous pardons", "The Rainbow Honor Walk: San Francisco's LGBT Walk of Fame", "Castro's Rainbow Honor Walk Dedicated Today: SFist", "Second LGBT Honorees Selected for San Francisco's Rainbow Honor Walk", "McDermott & McGough to Open Temple Dedicated to Oscar Wilde in New York's Church of the Village", "Oscar Wilde: Gay martyr with complex faith journey honored in art", "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists: 1988 Awards", Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Aesthetic Culture, Record of Wilde's indictment and conviction, Details including court transcriptions of the trials of Wilde, Oscar Wilde in America including The American Lecture Tour 1882, References to Oscar Wilde in historic European newspapers, "Archival material relating to Oscar_Wilde". Perhaps that is so, and of course, it will be impossible to reproduce what is gone forever. Richard D'Oyly Carte, an English impresario, invited Wilde to make a lecture tour of North America, simultaneously priming the pump for the US tour of Patience and selling this most charming aesthete to the American public. [228] The book was the basis for the 1997 film Wilde, directed by Brian Gilbert and starring Stephen Fry as the title character.[229]. Oscar Wilde, a critical study by Arthur Ransome was published in 1912. When asked to explain reports that he had paraded down Piccadilly in London carrying a lily, long hair flowing, Wilde replied, "It's not whether I did it or not that's important, but whether people believed I did it". He spent th… [60] Wilde sought to transpose the beauty he saw in art into daily life. When Charles Stewart Parnell was falsely accused of inciting murder, Wilde wrote a series of astute columns defending him in the Daily Chronicle. By Richard Ellmann's account, he was a precocious seventeen-year-old who "so young and yet so knowing, was determined to seduce Wilde". "[109] Wilde claimed the plot was "an idea that is as old as the history of literature but to which I have given a new form". [118] Salome was published jointly in Paris and London in 1893, but was not performed until 1896 in Paris, during Wilde's later incarceration. He immediately wrote to the Society of Jesus requesting a six-month Catholic retreat; when the request was denied, Wilde wept. After attending Portora Royal School, Enniskillen (1864–71), Wilde went, on successive scholarships, to Trinity College, Dublin (1871–74), and Magdalen College, Oxford (1874–78), which awarded him a degree with honours. Sir William acknowledged paternity of his illegitimate or "natural" children and provided for their education, arranging for them to be reared by his relatives rather than with his legitimate children in his family household with his wife. was drowned out in cries of "Shame" in the courtroom.[169]. [42][43], Unsure of his next step, Wilde wrote to various acquaintances enquiring about Classics positions at Oxford or Cambridge. Both authors later regretted their work. When pressed about the lie by Carson, Wilde flippantly replied: "I have no wish to pose as being young. Wilde was incarcerated from 25 May 1895 to 18 May 1897. He was not allowed to send it, but was permitted to take it with him when released from prison. [168] Wilde's response "And I? "[106] He nevertheless revised it extensively for book publication in 1891: six new chapters were added, some overtly decadent passages and homo-eroticism excised, and a preface was included consisting of twenty two epigrams, such as "Books are well written, or badly written. Events moved quickly and his prosecution opened on 26 April 1895, before Mr Justice Charles. As a student Wilde worked with Mahaffy on the latter's book Social Life in Greece. [64] In August he briefly returned to New York for the production of Vera, his first play, after it was turned down in London. As Gray's portrait allows him to escape the corporeal ravages of his hedonism, Wilde sought to juxtapose the beauty he saw in art with daily life. "[165] Lockwood answered that he would like to do so, but feared that the case had become too politicised to be dropped. Share with your friends. Eager for further acclaim, Wilde agreed to lecture in the United States and Canada in 1882, announcing on his arrival at customs in New York City that he had “nothing to declare but his genius.” Despite widespread hostility in the press to his languid poses and aesthetic costume of velvet jacket, knee breeches, and black silk stockings, Wilde for 12 months exhorted the Americans to love beauty and art; then he returned to Great Britain to lecture on his impressions of America. And in their comic opera Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan based the character Bunthorne, a “fleshly poet,” partly on Wilde. Wilde’s health suffered in prison and continued to decline after his release. Jane Wilde was a niece (by marriage) of the novelist, playwright and clergyman Charles Maturin (1780 – 1824), who may have influenced her own literary career. After his release from prison in 1897, Oscar Wilde lived in France in straitened circumstances. Wilde's association with blackmailers and male prostitutes, cross-dressers and homosexual brothels was recorded, and various persons involved were interviewed, some being coerced to appear as witnesses since they too were accomplices to the crimes of which Wilde was accused. He was soon introduced to a fan who had read the novel fourteen times in a row. From Wooldridge's hanging, Wilde later wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. [145], Wilde's friends had advised him against the prosecution at a Saturday Review meeting at the Café Royal on 24 March 1895; Frank Harris warned him that "they are going to prove sodomy against you" and advised him to flee to France. Wilde quickly became an established member – the members' suggestion book for 1874 contains two pages of banter (sportingly) mocking Wilde's emergent aestheticism. But Wilde’s greatest successes were his society comedies. [185], He spent his last three years impoverished and in exile. [2] Jane Wilde read the Young Irelanders' poetry to Oscar and Willie, inculcating a love of these poets in her sons. [3] Her interest in the neo-classical revival showed in the paintings and busts of ancient Greece and Rome in her home. Please come". Quotations by Oscar Wilde, Irish Poet, Born October 16, 1854. If Wilde was relatively indiscreet, even flamboyant, in the way he acted, Douglas was reckless in public. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, to give him his full name, was born on 16th October 1854 at 21 Westland Row, Dublin. [104], Reviewers immediately criticised the novel's decadence and homosexual allusions; The Daily Chronicle for example, called it "unclean", "poisonous", and "heavy with the mephitic odours of moral and spiritual putrefaction". [186] Wilde wrote two long letters to the editor of the Daily Chronicle, describing the brutal conditions of English prisons and advocating penal reform. For Wilde, the purpose of art would be to guide life as if beauty alone were its object. Both author and producer assiduously revised, prepared and rehearsed every line, scene and setting in the months before the premiere, creating a carefully constructed representation of late-Victorian society, yet simultaneously mocking it.
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