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LGBT People Of History Part Ten Oscar Wilde

Updated on April 3, 2012
Source
Wilde In The Dock
Wilde In The Dock | Source
Oscar and Douglas
Oscar and Douglas | Source
Oscars Tomb
Oscars Tomb | Source

Oscar Wilde

Born 16th October 1854 in Dublin, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was the son of two intellectuals of Dublin and from an early age was fluent in both French and German. He showed wit and high intelligence from a very early age.

Oscar attended both Dublin and Oxford universities and was instrumental in the rise of philosophy and aestheticism. After university he moved to London where he wrote his only novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ in 1890. He became a huge ‘celebrity’ after having success with his plays ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ amongst others.

In 1894 Oscar was introduced to Lord Alfred Douglas (‘Bosie’) who was the son of the Marquess of Queensberry. Bosie seemed to have been a spoilt young man and loved to bask in Oscar’s fame. Bosie and Oscar would soon fall in love and be reckless in public attending the many male brothels in London’s dark side. Their love affair would eventually lead to scandal, as the Marquess confronted Oscar and Alfred many times about the nature of their affair. Although their attempts to deter him had worked up until 1895, the Marquess then accused Oscar of ‘posing as a sodomite’. After a hugely publicised trial for slander against the Marquees had failed in which Wilde was his usual witty and flippant self he found himself penniless and under arrest for gross indecency under section11 for homosexual acts. He did have the chance to flee to France but his own inertia and his Mother’s persuasion ended up in him staying in London.

In the April Wilde pleaded not guilty but his attempts were futile and he was found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labour in the May in Reading Gaol, where he wrote perhaps his most moving work – ‘De Profundis’ – a letter to Bosie. After his release in April 1897 his health had deteriorated and he moved to France where he was reunited with Bosie in Rouen. They lived together in Italy for a brief spell until their families threatened to cut their funds off leading to their separation.

Wilde went back to France moving to Paris where he would remain until his death in 1900. On November 29th Wilde was drifting in and out of consciousness having been injected with morphine, due to the meningitis that was slowly taking his life. Wilde was conditionally baptised in to the Catholic Church by a priest from Dublin.

He was laid to rest eventually at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in a tomb designed by Sir Jacob Epstein- a fitting tribute to a great man. The tomb is visited by thousands and is a place of homage.

This can only be brief look at the life of Oscar Wilde – other important people in his life were Robert (Robbie) Ross, a steadfast friend and lover and Oscar’s wife, Constance.

Oscar Wilde is still one of the most famous LGBT people in history. There have been many portrayals of his life in word and on screen. Perhaps the best of them is by Stephen Fry, an openly gay man whose wit and intelligence mirrors that of Oscar.

Wilde will always be remembered not only in the LGBT world but as a pioneer of literature, wit and flamboyance.

Our hero.

We hope that you have enjoyed this Hub and hope that you will continue to enjoy the many more that we bring. J

Callum and Ian.

The LGBT People Of History Archive
The LGBT People Of History Archive | Source
Hadrian
Hadrian | Source
Alexander The Great
Alexander The Great | Source
Edward The II Of England
Edward The II Of England | Source
Richard The Lion Heart
Richard The Lion Heart | Source
Leonardo
Leonardo | Source
James VI and I
James VI and I | Source
Michaelangelo
Michaelangelo | Source
Lord Byron
Lord Byron | Source
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman | Source

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    • calpol25 profile imageAUTHOR

      Callum 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you all for your great and supportive comments there will be many more of our hubs to come :)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Thankyou for the lovely comment, AEvans. Oscar is very special to us and we wanted to do a good job. I used to live in Paris many years ago and would go to visit his tomb for inspiration!

      Ian.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      This is one of the most well-written hubs you have written! As for Oscar Wilde what a tribute you have given him. Vote up and shared.

    • calpol25 profile imageAUTHOR

      Callum 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Thank you Dexter and Annart for your supportive comments alian and I are so pleased that you have enjoyed the hub. This truly was our greatest work together and I am sure that Ian will agree that we did the best job ever with it and we hope that you will continue to read our follow ons :)

      Thank you all again.:)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Good - look forward to reading! Will it be the Cameron one or are you not saying?!

      Ian.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      M and B are doing quite well, actually!

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Very, very witty - like Stephen Fry!

      Thanks, Ann for your comments as always.

      BTW - I have a new science test over at my place!!

      Ian.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 years ago from SW England

      I love Oscar Wilde and his cryptic comments and sarcasm; a brilliant writer. Thanks for more fascinating information. Up and interesting.

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm, Dexter.

      Oscar is our hero!

      BTW, how are M and B doing?

      Ian.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      6 years ago from United States

      Oscar Wilde was truly amazing! Another great hub! This series is fantastic!

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      To Lizam1, The Writers Dog, hush4444.

      Thank you so much for the lovely comments - they're very much appreciated. Oscar marks a milestone in our profiles. We have plans for many more!

      Ian.

    • hush4444 profile image

      hush4444 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I knew when you got to Lord Byron in your series that it wouldn't be long before you profiled Oscar Wilde, one of my favorites. Stephen Fry does seem the perfect actor to portray him. I enjoyed this hub and hope you continue with many more.

    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 

      6 years ago

      Great work as usual! Voted up.

      "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". Oscar Wilde.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for writing about Oscar - he is my most favourite writer and, if there is a heaven, I hope to meet him someday:-)

    • calpol25 profile imageAUTHOR

      Callum 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      I agree its our best one so far and of course marks our triumphant ten together :)

      Callum :)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      The best!!

      Ian

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