Home » Critics » Wilde, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills

Wilde, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills

Born: 1854 AD
Died: 1900 AD
Nationality: Irish
Categories: Critics, Dramatist, Novelists, Poets, Satirists

1854 – Born on the 16th of October in Dublin, Ireland.

1863 – Oscar was educated at home up to the age of nine.

1864-1871 – Attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, spending the summer months with his family in rural Waterford, Wexford and at Sir William’s family home in Mayo.

1871-1874 – Studied classics at Trinity College, Dublin. He was an outstanding student, and won the Berkeley Gold Medal, the highest award available to classics students at Trinity.

1874-1878 – Granted a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he continued his studies and where he became a part of the Aesthetic movement, one of its tenets being to make an art of life.

1878 – Won the Newdigate Prize for his poem Ravenna, which he read out at Encaenia; he failed, though, to win the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize for an essay that would be published posthumously as The Rise of Historical Criticism (1909).

         – In November he graduated with a double first in classical moderations and literae humaniores, or ‘greats’.

         – He began wearing his hair long and openly scorning so-called "manly" sports, and began decorating his rooms with peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers, blue china and other objets d’art.

1881 – Published a selection of his poems, but these attracted admiration in only a limited circle.

1884 – In London, he met Constance Lloyd, daughter of wealthy Queen’s Counsel Horace Lloyd. She was visiting Dublin in 1884, when Oscar was in the city to give lectures at the Gaiety Theatre.

         – Married on the 29th of May in Paddington, London. Constance’s allowance of £250 allowed the Wildes to live in relative luxury.

1891 – Wilde became intimate with Lord Alfred Douglas, who went by the nickname "Bosie". Bosie’s father, John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, became increasingly enraged at his son’s involvement with Wilde.

1895 – The Marquess left a calling card at one of Wilde’s clubs, the Albemarle. On the back of the card he wrote "For Oscar Wilde posing as a Somdomite" (a misspelling of ‘Sodomite’).

          – Queensberry was arrested, and in April 1895, the Crown took over the prosecution of the libel case against him. The trial lasted three days.

          – Wilde was arrested on 6th of April in room no. 118 at the Cadogan Hotel, London, and charged with "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons" (a euphemism for any sex between males) under Section 11 of the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act.


        – On 25th of May Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour.

1897 – Prison was unkind to Wilde’s health and after he was released on 19th of May he spent his last three years penniless, in self-imposed exile from society and artistic circles.


         – He wrote the famous poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

1900 – Wilde died of cerebral meningitis on 30th of November in Paris, France.