- one of the most popular English writers. Inspite of the criticism that he was not original because he used a lot of words from other writers and poets, he was - and still is - very famous. He got a great reputation for his intelligence, conversation skills, and the way he dressed. He is often quoted and copied, but there can be only one man with the wit, charm and fashion-sence of Oscar Wilde.
He was born into the family of Dublin's well-known surgeon. His mother was a succesful writer and hostess who wrote under the name Spenanza. All these facts shows that he didn't grown up in extreme powerty like some other writers did. Vice versa - he had very confortable childhood - he was a good child from good family (his original name e.g. consists of five names!) He decided to study classical literature at Trinity College in Oxford, England. It was there, where he started his writing career. He won the Newdigate Prize for his poem RAVENA and in the late l870's he started a group called THE CULT OF AESTHETICISM it means making life into art. After college he continued on writing poems and moved to London. He published his first book with symply name POEMS.
Then he went to America on very succesful lecture tour. When he arrived in N.Y. on ship and customers asked him if he had anything to declare like baggage or gifts or something, he said:"I have nothing to declare but my genius". Then he married Constance Lloyd and she gave him two children. During that time he wrote many stories for his cildren e.g. THE HAPPYPRINCE and THE CANTERVILLE GHOST.All of his poems and stories had made him famous, but the plays he wrote after that time made him a legend. He wrote four comedies during three years LADY WINDERMERES FAN, A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, AN ODEAL HUSBAND and his masterpiece THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Three of his plays were performed at the same time in three diferent theaters in London. His next play is in French and is called SALOME. The British critics said it was indecent and it meant unpublishable. But France published it and Wilde's close friend - young Lord Alfred Douglas that wrote under pseudonym Bosie- translated Salome into English and published it. The composer Richard Strauss made Salome into opera. He only wrote one novel THE PICTURES OF DORIAN GRAY. It is based on Wilde's own vanity and tells the story of man that loves himself so much that he does not grow old.
Wilde's private life is more than interesting and may be this is the reason why I have chose him. His life changed forever in his 4O's. The father of Lord Douglas, the powerful Marques of Queensberry, did not want his son to be friends with famous and notorious writer. He began telling people in public that Wilde is homosexual. Wilde sued the Marques but he lost the trial so he was sent to the prison for two years. He wrote there THE BALLAD OF READIN GOAL that was about a life in prison. During last few months there he wrote an 80-page letter to Lord Douglas. There he explained his actions and personality there. It was the last thing that he ever wrote. Later it was published under the name DE PROFUNDIS.
When he left prison he went to France and he never returned to England. He was bankrupt, his wife had taken his children and left and none of his friends - except Robert Ross that sent his letter to Lord Douglas-
spoke to him. In Paris he turned his name to Sebastian Melmoth. He died suddenly there, poor and disgraced. What a contrast to his self-taugh life in that he said: "I can resist anything but temptation..."