Playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and epigrammatist, Oscar Wilde was Ireland's greatest and most inspired wit. Renowned equally for his espousal of aestheticism and art for art's sake, he became notorious for his affairs with Lord Alfred Dou......more
Playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and epigrammatist, Oscar Wilde was Ireland's greatest and most inspired wit. Renowned equally for his espousal of aestheticism and art for art's sake, he became notorious for his affairs with Lord Alfred Douglas and others. Today he is remembered for the brilliance of his writing, and this complete edition of his works contains all his plays, his only novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, as well as his essays, poems and stories for children, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, and his more worldly stories for adults, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories. The juxtaposition of his jeux d'esprits such as The Soul of Man under Socialism and The Portrait of Mr. W.H. contrast sharply with The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis, while Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest still enchant readers and theatre audiences today.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Willis Wilde (1854-1900) was the son of Sir William Wilde, a noted Dublin eye specialist, and Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde, a well-known Irish poet and journalist. He was a brilliant student at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize in 1878 for his poem Ravenna. He married his wife Constance in 1884 and they had two sons. Wilde's most prolific period was between 1888 and 1895. Following an ill-advised lawsuit against Lord Alfred Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensberry, for libel, Wilde was prosecuted for homosexual acts and imprisoned for two years with hard labor in Reading Gaol. He died in Paris in 1900.