Legendary Irish wit, dramatist, and raconteur Oscar Wilde lived a life
as much remembered for its scandal as for his timeless literary masterpieces.
Marked by tragedy, decadence, genius, and infamy, his life was as compelling
as that of any of his fictional characters.
Born to the notable doctor William Wilde and the flamboyant Lady Wilde
(also known as Speranza, a literary talent in her own right), Wilde attended
Dublin's Trinity College before studying at Oxford. There, he excelled both
academically and socially, becoming a much-sought-after party guest known
for his clever conversational skills.
He achieved wild success throughout the 1890s, with plays such as
Lady Windermere's Fan, An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance, and
The Importance of Being Earnest skyrocketing him to fame and paving
the way for further literary achievement with his prolific stories, novels,
The advent of ruin came in 1891, when Wilde became embroiled in a messy
love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, a manipulative young aristocrat, who
urged Wilde to initiate a messy libel suit, which eventually led to Wilde's
conviction of indecency and prison term of two years. After his release
from prison, Wilde found himself shunned by previous associates and exiled
to the Continent, where he died of meningitis in 1900 and was buried in
Paris' famous P're Lachaise Cemetery, where mourners gather to this day
to celebrate his remarkable life.