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Oscar Wilde

Author Biography

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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde

        Oscar Wilde, a renowned playwright and novelist, was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1854. His parents were Lady Jane Francesca Wilde and Sir William Wilde. Oscar's mother was also a poet and a journalist. Jane's talent as a writer was first noticed when she began to write poems about the revolution for a weekly Irish newspaper called The Nation. However, due to the famine present in the country in 1848, most newspaper companies were raided and shut down. Luckily, Oscars's mother was fluent in many European languages and was given the opportunity to translate Wilhelm Meinholds' "Sidonia the Sorceress". Upon reading the translation, the gothic novel would influence Oscars' later work as he drew on some of Meinholds' darker elements. It seems that Oscar inherited his writing skills as his father too was a gifted writer who specialized in eye and ear diseases. Oscar had one older brother and a sister who had passed away when she was 10 years old. After her death he carried a lock of her hair in an envelope for the remainder of his life.
        Oscar attended the Portora Royal School at Enniskillen with his older brother Willie. Oscar proved to be very intelligent especially in the Classics as he ranked at the top of his class. In 1871, Oscar was awarded the Royal School Scholarship to attend Trinity College. Following his college experience, he was found earning the highest honors at the college and won another scholarship to study at Magdalen College in Oxford.
        Once Oscar graduated from college he moved in with his friend Frank Miles who was a painter at the time. In 1881, Oscar published his first collection of poems which was both well and poorly received by critics. Afterwards, Oscar left England to travel across the United States delivering lectures on aesthetics. In between lectures, Oscar found time to arrange his play "Vera" to be staged in New York the following year.
        On May 29, 1884, Oscar married Constance Lloyd who bore him two sons. In the late 19th century, Oscar was able to publish two collections of children stories and his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. In 1892, his first play "Lady Windermere's Fan" was performed followed by another success "The Importance of Being Earnest" in 1895. These plays were able to firmly establish Oscar as a playwright.
        Unfortunately, at the age of forty-six, Oscar Wilde died due to a recurrent ear infection. Unfortunately, towards the end of Oscars's career he was not able to write anything creative and choose to spend his last years of his life wandering Europe, visiting friends and living in cheap hotels.

Jessica Leu
Coral Gabes Senior High
12th grade IB