"There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are either well written or badly written. That is all." - Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin Ireland, educated at the Portora Royal School at Enniskillen, where he excelled at the classics, taking top prize his last two years, and also earning a second prize in drawing. He then studied at Trinity College, Dublin where he won the college's Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship scholarship to Magdalen College in Oxford.
He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan for whom he wrote the classic children's fairy stories The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888). His works include The Picture of Dorian Gray (his only novel, 1891), and several comic plays, including Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
In 1891, he met Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, the third son of the Marquis of Queensberry and they became lovers until Wilde's arrest four years later. In April 1895, Wilde sued the Marquis who had accused him of homosexuality. Wilde withdrew his case but was himself arrested and convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years hard labor. Constance took the children to Switzerland and reverted to an old family name, "Holland."
Upon his release, Oscar wrote "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", a response to the agony he experienced in prison. It was published shortly before Constance's death in 1898. He and Bosie reunited briefly, but Oscar mostly spent the last three years of his life wandering Europe, staying with friends and living in cheap hotels. He died in Paris in November 1990.
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