Oscar Wilde

(2587 words)
  • Anne Varty (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Oscar Wilde was born on 16 October 1854 in Dublin. Christened Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde, he was the second son of a distinguished Irish Protestant family. His father was an eye surgeon, knighted for his services to medicine in 1864, who also nurtured an interest in Irish history as a collector of folk tales and customs. His mother, Jane Francesca Elgee (pseudonym “Speranza”), was a poet of the revolutionary “Young Irelanders” in 1848, and, like Oscar, she maintained lifelong support for the campaign for Irish Home Rule. Oscar went to boarding school in 1864, attending Portora Royal School at Enniskillen. From there he returned to Dublin in 1871, reading Classics at Trinity College. During his time there he began to develop a…

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Varty, Anne. "Oscar Wilde". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4718, accessed 02 July 2015.]

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