Oscar Wilde

Standard Name: Wilde, Oscar
Birth Name: Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde
OW 's significance as poet, playwright, and writer of prose fiction, remained in eclipse for many years after his notorious trial and imprisonment in Reading Gaol , events whose chilling impact on poetry and prose in England was not reversed until the modernists returned to the struggle for unfettered aesthetic expression. A leading proponent of art for art's sake in England, OW was a follower of Walter Pater , from whose work he borrows in lavish quantity, and, like Pater, he was much influenced by the French l'art pour l'art poets, notably Charles Baudelaire and Théophile Gautier .
Clements, Patricia. Baudelaire and the English Tradition. Princeton University Press, 1985.
More recently, his brilliant aesthetic essays have drawn serious attention as the basis for many critical propositions . . . which we like to attribute to more ponderous names.
Ellmann, Richard, editor. The Critic as Artist: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde. Random House, 1969.
His notoriety as a casualty of oppressive laws against the practice of homosexuality is also the subject of a good deal of recent critical comment.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
Some of her essays and stories were also collected this year in volume 14 of The Writings of Oscar Wilde.
Thesing, William B., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 199. Gale Research, 1999.
199: 298
Characters Patricia Highsmith
In Ripley Under Water, 1991, on the other hand, Tom kills no-one directly, since a grotesque fatal accident removes the objects of his ire. But he and the reader are given recurring reminders of...
Cultural formation Kate Marsden
Aspects of her identity shifted over time. KM was born into an English, professional, presumably white family of the upper-middle class, who lost their financial security because of her father's early death. Protestant for much...
Cultural formation Evelyn Sharp
ES was an Englishwoman (and asserted that identity in the title of her autobiography) whose mother laid claim to Welsh and to distant Italian forebears. She described her family as urban middle-class, with artistic, musical...
Cultural formation Anne Carson
As a teenager, AC fancied herself a reborn Oscar Wilde.
Wachtel, Eleanor. “An Interview With Anne Carson”. Brick: A Literary Journal, No. 89, pp. 29 -53.
She was drawn to Wilde's aesthetic sensibility and sense of irony. She shared this affectation with some of her highschool friends. They would...
Cultural formation Dinah Mulock Craik
DMC identified strongly as a working woman across established class boundaries. She wrote towards the end of her life to Oscar Wilde , suggesting that he should alter the name of the monthly magazine he...
death Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
JFLW , commonly known under her pen-name Speranza, died of complications from bronchitis while her son Oscar was serving his prison sentence.
Glendinning, Victoria. “Speranza: A Leaning Tower of Courage”. Genius in the Drawing-Room, edited by Peter Quennell, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1980, pp. 101 - 16.
Dedications Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
The first edition's dedication to her sons Willie and Oscar says: I taught them, no doubt, / That country's a thing one should die for at need.
Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. Knopf, 1988.
Later editions published as Poems by Speranza...
Education Diana Athill
DA was taught at home by governesses (seven successively before she was sent to school), who followed a correspondence course designed for home schooling which was known as Parents Educational National Union . A French...
Education U. A. Fanthorpe
She later called her boarding school (where she was sent by her parents because of the heavy wartime bombing in their home area) inadequate,
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
and likened its staff to Oscar Wilde 's Lady Bracknell...
Education Anne Carson
When she was in highschool AC 's brother, four years older, liked her to do his homework for him.
Carson, Anne. Nox. New Directions, 2010.
Apart from her fascination with Wilde , AC fell in love while at Port Hope High School
Family and Intimate relationships Edith Templeton
She said years later: In truth, I would have married any Englishman. The marriage turned out badly. One of their rows was provoked by his discovering her in possession of a book by Oscar Wilde
Family and Intimate relationships Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
Jane Francesca Wilde (Speranza) gave birth to her elder son, named Willie ; he died in 1899 while his brother Oscar was in prison.
Ellmann, Richard. Oscar Wilde. Knopf, 1988.
Glendinning, Victoria. “Speranza: A Leaning Tower of Courage”. Genius in the Drawing-Room, edited by Peter Quennell, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1980, pp. 101 - 16.
Family and Intimate relationships Iris Tree
Writer, critic, and caricaturist Sir Max Beerbohm was IT 's half-uncle, the youngest son from Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree's father's second marriage. Best remembered for his drawings and caricatures of the famous, Beerbohm also wrote...
Family and Intimate relationships Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
Oscar Wilde , son of JFLW , stayed with her in Chelsea after being released on bail following his arrest in April.
Glendinning, Victoria. “Speranza: A Leaning Tower of Courage”. Genius in the Drawing-Room, edited by Peter Quennell, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1980, pp. 101 - 16.


Around 1878
The Albemarle Club was formed with the plan of admitting equal numbers of men and women.
Lady Harberton founded the Rational Dress Society which proposed dress reform for women, denounced tight-lacing and high heels, and advocated divided skirts.
By 24 December 1881
Lillie Langtry became the first English society woman to appear professionally on the stage when she played Kate Hardcastle in Goldsmith 's She Stoops to Conquer at the Haymarket Theatre , London.
L. R. S. Tomalin , an early disciple of Gustave Jaeger 's woollen movement, set up the Jaeger Company in Fore Street, London, to sell Dr Jaeger's Sanitary Woollen Clothing..
Breaking with established department store practice, Harrods began to offer credit to select customers.
4 March 1885
In Marius the Epicurean, Walter Pater established his view that the city was the modern topic for writers. The novel is set in Marcus Aurelius 's Rome.
November 1886
The monthly magazineLady's World: A Magazine of Fashion and Society began publication.
An anonymous imprint of the homoeroticnovelTeleny, in which Oscar Wilde likely had a hand, was published in London by Leonard Smithers .
April 1894
The aesthetic quarterly the Yellow Book began publication.
After 25 May 1895
Following the conviction of Oscar Wilde , Edward Carpenter 's publisher broke his contract to publish Love's Coming of Age, after discovering that Carpenter had privately printed a pamphlet entitled Homogenic Love.
Woman's World began publication in London.
The London County Council banned stage tableaus or living pictures (erotic in content), and in their place the Palace Theatre engaged Maud Allan as a solo dancer.
The Guild of St Matthew (set up by Stewart Headlam in 1877 to promote Christian socialism) was dissolved.
By 27 February 1911
The secretary of the Actresses' Franchise League organised a feminist production of Wilde 's Salome (reviewed on this date).
April 1918
An article in Noel Pemberton Billing 's weekly Vigilante alleged that the Germans had identified 47,000 Britons who could be blackmailed into treason because of their deviant sexuality.