Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on October 16, 1854 into an intellectual household. He grew up to become the most celebrated playwright in London during the 1890s. He is also known for his children’s fairytales, The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant, his novel The Picture Of Dorian Gray, and his comic plays Lady Windemere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. But he is probably most celebrated today for his dynamic personality, his sensational and tragic life story, and his witty quotes.
At the very height of his fame, Oscar, who was married with two children, started a gay affair with the young aristocrat, Lord Alfred Douglas. Oscar’s relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas led to the biggest sex scandal of the age. Oscar was arrested over his homosexuality and put on trial. In May 1895, he was sentenced to two years hard labour by the British authorities. Lord Alfred escaped prosecution because the authorities said there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute the aristocrat. When he was released from Reading Gaol after serving the full sentence, Oscar had to change his name and flee to France.
Oscar Wilde died in Paris in 1900, three years after his release from jail. He was just 46 years old.
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