Biography of Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde (real name Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde) was born on

October 16th, 1854 in Dublin. His father, William Robert Wilde, was an eminent eye

doctor, with an interest in myths and folklore. He was the founder of the first eye and ear

hospital in Great Britain, as well as the appointed Surgeon Occultist to the Queen, who

knighted him. His mother, Jane Francesca Elgee Wilde, was a poet who wrote patriotic

Irish verse under the pen name Speranza, and had a considerable following. As a

youngster, Wilde was exposed to the brilliant literary talk of the day at his mother's Dublin


In 1864 Wilde entered the Portora Royal School at Enniskillen, and in 1871

entered Trinity College in Dublin. In 1874 he left Ireland and went to England to attend

Magdalen College at Oxford. As a student there, he excelled in classics, wrote poetry,

and incorporated the Bohemian life style of his youth into a unique way of life.

He came

under the influence of aesthetic innovators such as English writers Walter Pater and John

Ruskin. He found the aesthetic movement's notions of 'art for art's sake' and dedicating

one's life to art suitable to his temperament and talents. As an aesthete, Wilde wore long

hair and velvet knee breeches, and became known for his eccentricity as well as his

academic ability. His rooms were filled with various objets d'art such as sunflowers,

peacock feathers, and blue china. Wilde frequently confided that his greatest challenge at

University was learning to live up to the perfection of the china. Wilde won numerous

academic prizes while studying there, including the Newdigate Prize, a coveted poetry

award, for his poem Ravenna.

In 1879 Wilde moved to London to make himself famous. He set about

establishing himself as the...