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Author Information: Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 16, 1854. He was an outstanding student of classics at Trinity College, and, in 1874, entered Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize with his poem “Ravenna” (1878). An early leader of the “Aesthetic Movement,” which advanced the concept of “Art for Art's Sake,” Wilde became a prominent personality in literary and social circles. His volume of fairy tales, The Happy Prince and other Tales (1888) and The House of Pomegranates (1892). However, it was not until his play Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), was presented to the public that he became widely famous. A Woman of No Importance (1893) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) confirmed his stature as a dramatist. In 1895 he brought libel action against the Marquis of Queensbury; during the trial shocking revelations concerning Wilde's character were made. In May of that year, he was sentenced under the Criminal Law Amendment Act to two years imprisonment with hard labor for homosexual offenses. Upon his release in 1897, he settled on the Continent, where he wrote his most powerful and enduring poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (1898). Oscar Wilde died in Paris on November 30, 1900.

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