Recent Event Highlights: Willie Wilde Dies, The Publication of "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", Constance Wilde Dies, Oscar Wilde Meeting with Bosie, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", Oscar Wilde Released from Prison , and 46 more...
Created by jbaranek on Nov 19, 2010
Last updated: 12/12/10 at 01:38 PM
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Oscar Wilde was suffering from ill-health, which he attributed to food poisoning from shellfish. Oscar's skin was irritable, frequently breaking out in rashes. In addition, some biographers said Wilde was suffering from syphilis. On October 10th, he was operated upon for an ear infection but the the operation was unsuccessful. Furthermore, Oscar was diagnosed with an acute, inoperable cerebral meningitis on November 25th. Father Cuthbert Dunne, a priest in France baptised and read Oscar his last rites. At half past five the following morning, November 30th, 1900, Oscar Wilde passed away (Canning 105-106).
According to Canning, Oscar Wilde was not greatly affected by his brother's death (Canning 105).
In 1898, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" was published in Britain, but not under Oscar Wilde's name. Instead, his cell number was used, "C.3.3." (Canning 99).
Constance Wilde, Oscar's wife passed away at forty years old after an operation on her back (Canning 103).
Oscar Wilde meets up with Alfred Douglas in Rouen, France. Oscar burst into tears when he saw Bosie at the station. They ended up eating dinner and spending the night with one another (Canning 100).
Oscar Wilde wrote several letters to the British press regarding the awfulness of prison conditions. In addition, he wrote "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" between June and July 1897. It was on a contemporary tragedy - the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, a trooper in the Royal Horse Guards who had been hung in Reading Prison on July 7th, 1896. Wooldridge had killed his wife out of sexual jealousy. Furthermore, Wilde had seen the scaffold (Canning 98-99).
On May 19th at 6:15 a.m., Oscar Wilde was released from Pentonville Prison because that is where his formal release would be from (Canning 98).
In January 1897, Oscar Wilde began a long letter of self-justification - addressed to Bosie. After three months, De Profundis wa finished and later would be published by Ross after Oscar Wilde's death (Canning 96-97).
The first production of "Salome" in Paris.(Canning 94 and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
On February 19, 1896, Constance Wilde arrived from Genoa to Tell Oscar Wilde that his mother has died. Jane had asked for Oscar to be allowed to visit in her last days, but he was denied (Canning 94).
After fainting in chapel, Oscar Wilde was moved to Reading Prison. The incident in the chapel cause an injury to his right ear (Canning 94).
"An Ideal Husband" is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty four hours (Canning 75-78).
Oscar Wilde was first sent to Pentonville Prison (Canning 91).
After the first trial, the charges were brought up again against Oscar Wilde. This time, however, the jury found him guilty on the charge of gross indecency. The court sentenced Wilde to two year penal servitude with hard labor (Canning 81-90).
The jury disagreed with charges brought against Oscar Wilde and found him not guilty (Canning 81-90).
Oscar Wilde was charged with offences under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 (Canning 81-90).
Evidence declared that Oscar Wilde did commit a number of sexual acts with male persons. Therefore, Queensbury was found not guilty. Furthermore, the evidence obtained by Queensbury's lawyer was sent to the public prosecutor in order to arrest Oscar Wilde for his indecent acts (Canning 81-90).
After Oscar Wilde accused John Sholto Douglas of criminal libel, Douglas entered a plea of justification (Canning 81-90).
Oscar Wilde received a card at his club, the Albermarle, ten days after it had been left by John Sholto Douglas, ninth marquess of Queensbury, calling Wilde a somdomite. As a result, Wilde took out a warrant against him for criminal libel (Canning 81-90)
"The Importance of Being Earnest" is Oscar Wilde's last play that he wrote. It was first performed on February 14, 1895 at St. James's Theatre in London. The play is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personas in order to escape burdensome obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways (Canning and Wikipedia).
"Teleny, or the Reverse of the Medal" is a pornographic novel, first published in London in 1893. The authorship of the work is unknown. There is a general consensus that it was an ensemble effort, but it has often been attributed to Oscar. It is set in fin-de-siècle Paris. The novel concerns are the magnetic attraction and passionate though ultimately tragic affair between a young Frenchman named Camille de Grieux and the Hungarian pianist René Teleny. The novel is significant as one of the earliest pieces of English language pornography to explicitly and near-exclusively concern homosexuality (Canning).
After "Lady Windermere's Fan, "A Woman of No Importance" was Oscar Wilde's next play. It premiered on April 19, 1893 at London's Haymarket Theatre. It is a testimony of Wilde's wit and his brand of dark comedy. It looks in particular at English upper class society (Canning 67).
"Salome" was banned from performance in London at the Palace Theatre by the lord chamberlain for infringing protestant Reformation legislation against medieval miracle or otherwise religious plays (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
"Lady Windermere's Fan," "A Play About a Good Woman" is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced at the Saint James Theatre in London. Furthermore, the play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it is a biting satire on the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage (Canning 64).
"Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories" is a collection of short semi-comic mystery stories that were written by Oscar and published in 1891. It includes "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime", "The Canterville Ghost", "The Sphinx Without a Secret", "The Model Millionaire", and "The Portrait of Mr W. H." (Canning 54).
In late 1891, "Salome" is a tragedy written by Oscar Wilde while he was in Paris. The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Then three years later it was translated into English. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils (Canning 66).
"The Soul of Man under Socialism" is an 1891 essay by Oscar Wilde. He puts forth the argument that within a capitalist system "the majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism - are forced, indeed, so to spoil them"- that the necessity of solving the problems that capitalism creates draws away the talent that could otherwise be used to fulfill ones potential. In taking the the cause of this away, Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to individualism (Canning 54).
"A House of Pomegranates" is a collection of fairy tales written by Oscar Wilde that was published as a second collection for "The Happy Prince and Other Tales". "A House of Pomegrantes" was more ornate fairy tales than the "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" and more directly socialist. The fairy tales consisted of "The Young King", "The Birthday of the Infanta", "The Fisherman and his Soul", and "The Star-Child" (Cannning 50, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Wikipedia).
"Intentions" is a collection of four essays consisting of 'The Truth of Masks', 'The Decay of Lying', 'Pen, Pencil and Poison, and 'The Critic as Artist' (Canning 54).
In April 1891, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was revised and edited by Oscar Wilde. It was put into book form. In addition, it contained additional chapters and a preface. The amended version was published by Ward, Lock, and Company (Canning).
"Guido Ferranti" opened at The Broadway Theatre in New York on January 21, 1891 and ran for three weeks. The play was originally titled "The Duchess of Padua".
Lippincott's Magazine published Oscar Wilde's first version of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (Canning and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
"The Portrait of Mr W.H." was originally an essay in which Oscar argued that Shakespeare's genius had arisen from his love for a boy actor in his company. The piece was reworked after Frank Harris persuaded Oscar that it was drastically indiscreet. It became, instead, a complex fiction, in which an unnamed narrator is told by a friend, Erskine, that someone called Cyril Graham holds such views concerning Shakespeare (Canning 51).
"Pen, Pencil and Poison" is an aesthetic "study in green" of the forger, artist, and poisoner Thomas Griffiths Wainewright. This essay reveals the criminal side of Oscar Wilde (Canning and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
"The Decay of Lying" is an elegantly Platonic dialogue supposedly denouncing the reninciation of invention by modern-story tellers while actually dissecting them in succession of hilarious but profound epigrams (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
"The Happy Prince and Other Tales" was published by Alfred Nutt in May 1888. Oscar Wilde was a natural storyteller, and the tales he devised for his sons would later find successful publication as "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" (Canning 50). "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" is an 1888 collection of stories for children by Oscar. It is most famous for "The Happy Prince," the short tale of a metal statue who befriends a migratory bird (Wikipedia).
In the spring of 1887, "The Canterville Ghost' and 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" used society comedy as skillfully as Irish folklore, foreshadowing Oscar Wilde's return to playwriting (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
Oscar Wilde became editor of Cassell's monthly magazine the "Lady's World". When he took charge of the magazine he slowly adjusted the content to make it less feminine and more womanly. For the first issue in November he secured the publisher's agreement to change the condescending title. Oscar changed the title of the magazine to "The Woman's World". After the triumphant reception of this issue, he lost interest, especially in the day-to-day aspects of running the magazine. Eventually, Oscar resigned in October 1889 (Canning 51).
Oscar wrote anonymously for the Pall Mall Gazette, the Dramatic Review, and other outlets (Canning 47). From Early in 1885 Wilde was a regular book critic for the Pall Mall Gazette (Dictionary of Irish Biography).
In late 1884, to make ends meet, Oscar Wilde agreed to yet another British Lecture Tour. The topics consisted of 'The Value of Art in Modern Life' and 'Dress'. In lecture 'Dress', Oscar argued that clothes should be hung from the shoulders, not the waist, as they had been in Ancient Greece (Canning 47-48).
Oscar Wilde married Constance Mary Lloyd at Saint James's Church (Church of England), Sussex Gardens, Paddington, London (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
Oscar Wilde proposed to Constance Lloyd at 1 Ely Peace in Dublin, Ireland, where she had been born (Canning 42-43 and Dictionary of Irish Biography).
"Vera" opened on August 20, 1883 at the Union Square Theatre in New York. Marie Prescott was the producer of the play. Also, she played the lead role in "Vera". The play opened with a full house, there was applause, and Oscar Wilde gave a short speech at the end of the third act. The play closed on August 28, 1883 because of the poor ticket sales (Canning 44-45).
To earn money, Oscar Wilde arranged a long lecture tour around the British Isles, starting in July at the Royal Academy. The lecture offered Oscar's 'Impressions of America'. He joked about his Mormon audience in Salt Lake City. Furthermore, Oscar commented on how the wives gathered in doughnut shape around their husband (Canning 43-44).
"The Duchess of Padua" was a play written in Shakespearian verse by Oscar Wilde. It is a five act historical tragedy set in Padua. Originally, it was written for the actress Mary Anderson in early 1883 while Oscar was in Paris. Anderson turned it down, and it eventually opened at The Broadway Theatre in New York under the title "Guido Ferranti" on January 26, 1891 Canning 63).
Oscar sailed on the SS Arizona and arrived in New York. Furthermore, he delivered nearly 150 lectures throughout the tour. His lectures were entitled 'The Decorative Arts', 'The House Beautiful', 'The English Renaissance', and 'Irish Poets and Poetry in the Nineteenth Century'. Oscar earned about $6,000 over the next twelve months. He sailed home on the SS Bothnia and docked in Liverpool, England on January 6, 1883 (Canning 36).