Oscar Wilde | First Editions

1854 - 1900

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) Irish writer and poet, hugely successful playwright and novelist, master of the bon mot and the pithy aphorism, the very soul of the late Victorian literary era and its tragic sacrifice on the altar of respectability and hypocrisy. Very few figures capture the late-Victorian, slightly decadent, slightly silly, slightly sadistic, insanely creative fin-de-siecle period so completely as Oscar Wilde. His reputation as the leading aesthete of his day, equal parts hero and villain depending upon which side of the aesthetic argument you came down on, is well known. Parodied in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience" 1881 he immediately caught the imagination of the public and with the sponsorship of John Murray and the assistance of the bizarre and enigmatic Colonel Morse Oscar embarked on a wildly successful tour of the US.

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