Born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, author, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde was a popular literary figure in late Victorian England, known for his brilliant wit, flamboyant style and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality. After graduating from Oxford University, he lectured as a poet, art critic and a leading proponent of the principles of aestheticism.
In 1891, he published The Picture of Dorian Gray, his only novel which was panned as immoral by Victorian critics, but is now considered one of his most notable works. As a dramatist, many of Wilde’s plays were well received including his satirical comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), his most famous play. Unconventional in his writing and life, Wilde’s affair with a young man led to his arrest on charges of "gross indecency" in 1895.
He was imprisoned for two years and died in poverty three years after his release at the age of 46.