The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde's first and only novel. It was written in 1890, when Wilde was thirty-five. He died in Paris on November 30, 1900. Though he wrote only one novel, he composed other literary works and became a dramatist soon after The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. His plays include Lady Windemere's Fan, The Importance of Being Earnest, and A Woman of No Importance.
He was born "Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde". The extra names were taken from Irish folklore and given to him by his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee who was an Irish patriot. His father, Sir William Wilde, died when he was twelve.
Wilde was always rather scholarly and won the Newdicate Prize for his poem "Ravenna" while attending Trinity College.
He married a woman named Constance Lloyd in 1884. His plays made him rich and he flung his money about extravagantly which many found annoying.
Wilde was always very outspoken and had an opinion on just about everything. One man who found Wilde particularly aggravating was the Marquis of Queensberry, who accused him of homosexuality. Wilde responded with a libel suit, even knowing that the charge was true. Pasages from The Picture of Dorian Gray were used against him in court and he was sentenced to two years of imprisonment and hard labor.
Wilde was fatally weakened during imprisonment, and he was unable to rebuild his life. His wife and two children had moved away and changed their names to escape the public eye. Wilde drifted for three years until he died of cerebral meningitis at the age of forty-six.
The Picture of Dorian Gray begins in the studio of Basil Hallward, and artist. Basil met and was enthralled by Dorian Gray, an attractive and incredibly pure...