Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was one of the famous Irish and British writers of 19th century. He was a brilliant man and became one of the leaders of the aesthetic movement in literature. The motto of this movement was 'Art for art's sake.' His stories, plays and poems were full of wit and originality. His beautifully written tales are still popular with children as well as adults. His plays are brilliant and amusing. He was also a wonderful speaker.
He was born in 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. He was a son of a famous surgeon, and his mother was a writer of poetry and of political articles. Wilde was educated at Trinity College in Dublin and at Oxford. He was interested in classical languages and literature. He traveled a lot during his life. He went to Italy, Greece and the USA. For some time he lived in France, where he met some famous writers and poets of that time. His amazing and successful career, however, collapsed when he was put to prison for 'immoral acts' (homosexuality). He died in France in 1900 and was buried there.
His most famous works are: among dramas: “The Ideal Husband,” “The Importance of Being Earnest”, and “Lady Windermere’s Fan”; his only novel: “A Picture of Dorian Gray”. The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is greatly impressed by Dorian's physical beauty and becomes strongly infatuated with him, believing that his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Wilde’s famous short stories are: “The Happy Prince”, “The Nightingale and the Rose”, and “The Canterville Ghost” - it is about Mr. Otis’s family, which moves to a chateau which is haunted by a ghost. But the ghost is sad because nobody is afraid of him.