Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde in 1882

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900) was a British writer. He is famous for titles like The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as his affection for boys, which landed him in prison in 1895. Specifically, he was convicted of charges of sodomy that were brought in response to a lawsuit he filed against the Marquis of Queensbury. He sued the marquis for libel in connection with a note that the marquis wrote accusing Wilde of "posing as a sodomite." Wilde and the marquis' son, Lord Alfred Douglas, then in his early 20s, were lovers. Wilde was convicted on charges related to Douglas, though the most sensational portions of the trial related to testimony that he consorted with older adolescents and young men of the working class. Because gentlemen did not, by the standards of the day, socialize with working people, the Crown led the jury to assume that the contacts Wilde had with these young men had to be sexual in nature.

Wilde penned what some have described as his most poignant poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," while incarcerated at heavy labor on the sodomy conviction. After his release, Wilde and Douglas spent time together in Greece and Paris. Wilde had become nearly destitute and their relationship became very troubled, leading to periods of separation and reconciliation. Wilde died alone in a Paris boarding house three years after his release from Reading Gaol.


  • Born 16 October 1854 in Dublin
  • 1884 Marriage with Constance Lloyd, with whom he had two sons, Cyril (*1885) and Vyvyan (*1886).
  • 25 May 1895, sentenced to prison on a charge of sodomy
  • 1897 released from prison due to his illness
  • Died 30 November 1900 in Paris

Famous works

  • The Portrait of Mr. W. H. 1889
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray 1891
  • The Importance of Being Earnest 1895

External links

See also