2020-2021 Season,  An Ideal Husband

Oscar Wilde – A Timeline

by Charisse Baxter, dramaturg

Though most often remembered as a playwright, Wilde was a popular author of essays, poems, and short stories as well. His one novel is a classic, and his lectures and memorable aphorisms attracted followers and fans years before his plays became successful. His private life drew even more attention, but his writings and scripts have withstood the test of time.

1854 – Born Oct 16 in Dublin, Ireland

1871 – Attended Trinity College, Dublin

1874 – Attended Magdalen College in Oxford, England and was a distinguished scholar; became a leader in the Aesthetics movement and was noted for eccentric fashion and behavior

1882 – Toured the US as an Aesthetics lecturer; ‘I have nothing to declare but my genius’

Cartoon depicting Wilde’s US Tour

1884 – Married Constance Lloyd; they had two sons, lived in Chelsea, London

1887 – Became editor of Woman’s World magazine

1890 – Published his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray

1891 – Began a relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas

1892Lady Windemere’s Fan was produced in London; first critical as well as financial success on stage

1893 – Produced A Woman of No Importance; another hit. Published Salomé, an earlier play written in French that was not permitted to be staged because it incorporated Biblical characters.

1892 – Renowned actress Sarah Bernhardt staged Salomé in Paris

1895 Jan: An Ideal Husband opened in London

Feb: The Importance of Being Earnest opened in London; Wilde sued Marquess of Queensbury, Lord Alfred’s father, for libel and lost

 April: Charged and tried for ‘gross indecency’, sentenced to two year’s hard labor

1897 – Released from prison, writes ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’

1898 – Wrote letters on prison reform; Constance died

1900 – Spent three years wandering Europe, living with friends/in cheap hotels. Died Nov 30 in Paris of cerebral meningitis contracted in prison; his remains buried in France.



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