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Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on the 16th of October 1854, to successful Anglo-Irish Dublin intellectuals, Oscar Wilde wrote in a variety of forms before becoming one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.

Prior to that, having moved to London, he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada eventually returning to London to work as a journalist. In 1890 he published his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey, but he soon turned to drama and in 1891 wrote Salome in French. The absolute prohibition of Biblical subjects led to it being banned in England, so Wilde moved on to society comedies ultimately becoming one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London.

At the height of his fame and success Wilde had his lover’s father (The Marquess of Queensbury) prosecuted for libel. Unfortunately, the trial uncovered evidence that led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with other men and his imprisonment for two years’ hard labour. After his release he left immediately for France and never returned to Ireland or Britain. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.