Born in Dublin on October 16, 1854, Wilde became perhaps one of the most famous writers in history – not just for his creative works, including “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” but also for his witty criticisms and dandyism style. Wilde was one of the first people to be famous simply for being famous.
The Victorian novelist, poet, playwright and later gay icon faced worlds of scrutiny throughout his life of 46 years, which ended in imprisonment and exile.
He studied classics and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, and was a figurehead of literary aestheticism.
Though famously contrarian and controversial in his views, Wilde is celebrated as a genius and grandmaster of the English language – notable titles include “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “The Canterville Ghost,” “Salome,” and of course, his widely quoted witticisms.
Wilde spent most of his later years living in Paris and London, and traveling to the US to deliver lectures. Though married with children to Constance Lloyd, his tempestuous love affair with young writer Alfred Douglas was a topic on all tongues.
*Originally published in October 2014.