Wilde, Oscar

PLAYWRIGHT, NOVELIST, ESSAYIST, POET (IRELAND)
BORN 16 Oct 1854, Dublin: 21 Westland Row - DIED 30 Nov 1900, Paris: Hôtel d'Alsace, Rue des Beaux-Arts 13
REAL NAME Wilde, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 89)

Son of Sir William and Lady Jane Wilde. His mother wrote poems and novels under the name Speranza. His younger sister Isola was born in 1858 but she died when she was eight years old.

Oscar was an excellent student at Trinity College in Dublin between 1871 and 1874. In 1875 he entered Magdalen College in Oxford. he was influenced by Algernon Swinburne, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. He published poetry in 1875 and 1876 in literary magazines. After his father died he returned to Ireland. There he had a romance with Florence Balcome, who later married Bram Stoker.

During the 1880s he made himself a name as an author, a poet and a lecturer. He dressed and lived like a dandy and was a great artist with words. His play "The Duchess of Padua" was published in 1883. In 1882 he visited the USA. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd and they had two children, Cyril and Vyvyan. Around the time Constance was pregnant with her second child Wilde started an affair with a young man named Robert Ross.

In 1890 his famous novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was published. His plays "Salome" (1891) and "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1892) were produced succesfully. But in 1891 he had met Lord Alfred Douglas, the son of the Marquis of Qyeensberry. He started a homosexual relationship with him that resulted in his downfall.

The Marquis of Queensberry tried to disturb the opening of Wilde's play "The Important of Being Ernest" but he failed after his plans were found out. After further incidents Wilde filed a suit against him for criminal libel. But during the trial he was questioned about his homosexual relations and Wilde himself was sentenced to two years of imprisonment at Reading Gaol in 1895.

His wife left him with their children and took the name Holland. In prison he wrote "De Profundis". When he was released on 19 May 1897 he was a broken man. He left England and lived at the continent with acquaintances and in hotels. He wrote his last work "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" in 1898. Constance died in 1898 in Italy.

In 1900 Wilde underwent an eye operation and afterwards he developed cerebral meningitis and he died in the Hôtel d'Alsace in Paris. Robert Ross was with him at the time of his death. Wilde was buried at the Bagneux cemetery in Paris. On 19 Jul 1909 his remains were transferred to Père Lachaise, where his monument was created by Jacob Epstein. In 1950 the ashes of Ross were placed inside the monument.

Family
• Mother: Elgee-Wilde, Jane Francesca
• Father: Wilde, William
• Wife: Lloyd, Constance (1884-1898)

Related persons
• met Doyle, Arthur Conan
• has grave monument designed by Epstein, Jacob
• was a friend of Hunt, Violet
• was influenced by Keats, John
• met Lee, Vernon
• knew Lugné-Poe, Aurélien-François-Marie
• was influenced by Pater, Walter Horatio
• was a friend of Raine, Margaret
• visited Roosevelt, Blanche
• was influenced by Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
• met Wagner, Siegfried
• was a friend of Whistler, James MacNeill

Events
1896/2/11: Première of Oscar Wilde's play "Salome" at the Théâtre-de-l'Oeuvre in Paris
Lina Munte played Salome. Oscar Wilde was in prison at this time.
1899/2/25: Oscar Wilde visits his wife Constance's grave
Their marriage had broken down after his conviction for sodomy and she had died during an operation in 1898. He wrote to his friend Robby Ross that he was terribly affected. Wilde would die himself in 1900.

Sources
Neurotic Poets - Oscar Wilde
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

Images

Oscar Wilde's tomb at Père Lachaise, Paris. It was created by Jacob Epstein, who completed it in 1912.
Picture by Androom (06 Mar 1995)

 

The grave of Oscar Wilde at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (24 Oct 2014)

 

Plaque for Oscar Wilde at 34 Tite Street, Chelsea, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Mar 2016)

 

Plaque for Oscar Wilde at 21 Westland Row in Dublin to commemorate his birth.
Picture by Androom (19 Aug 2016)

 


Wilde, William

Published: 15 Nov 2015
Last update: 11 Sep 2016