yo please teach me about oscar wilde i really wanna get into him but i dont know where to start
oh boy have you come to the right place!!!! let me tell you about this man!!!
this is probably my favourite picture of him because of his expression… i mean how is that not universally relatable…
Crash Course Biography:
- Oscar marries his wife Constance in 1884, had 2 kids & decided he didn’t actually like her all that much & i’m like 70% sure they never had sex after kid #2
- 1886 Robbie Ross (light of my life) turns up & is unabashedly homosexual - most people attribute Robbie as the one to bring Oscar to the Side of Gay.
- Oscar struts about town, living a life that Henry Wotton would wholeheartedly advocate. He assumes the role of a ‘dandy’ - think flamboyance from every angle & add some frills. This was cool for him as it wasn’t seen as synonymous with being gay, just being a dramatist.
- 1891 is when Lord “Bosie” Douglas turns up & introduces Oscar to more gay stuff & more illegal stuff like weed & brothels & prostitution
- 1894 is when Bosie’s dad finds out about their relationship, flips out & takes Oscar to court for being illegally gay in 1895 :(
- 1895 Oscar counters the charge by saying the case was unfounded (it totally wasn’t, he really did have a lot of sex) & whilst his epigrams / wit won him initial support, it all went downhill quite quickly. there’s another 2 trials for Oscar whilst all his friends pack up & get out of England (Robbie breaks into Oscar’s house upon request & packs up some of Oscar’s stuff, then legs it out to Paris)
- I think that the judge doesn’t even let Oscar have any last words in court i mean is
that not the most heartbreaking, soul crushing thing you can do to this man
- Oscar does his sentence of 2 years hard labor in prison & gets hit in the head / ear - this injury & botched treatment is to be the cause of his death
- He goes to Paris under exile & as far as I can gather lives with
Robbie’s help but spent a lot of the time rejecting his help too. Also Oscar tries to live with Bosie again but both of their families are having exactly none of that behavior.
- Oscar dies in Paris at the age of 46
Importance of Being Ernest is the 1st work of Oscar’s I read & I have never looked back. it’s short & sweet & hysterically funny, the humour is in no way dated & I love it
Picture of Dorian Gray please read this book as I have read it more than 7 times now & I need someone to rhapsodise about this with. It’s honestly a brilliant book with a totally cool plot & 3 fascinating characters (3 guesses who my fave is…it’s basil… it’s always basil)
The Ballad of Reading Gaol is the last work Oscar created before his death, & it’s about the harsh reality of prison & honestly I cry just because of the context
The Happy Prince & Other Tales so, my parents used to read these to me as a kid & like…is it really any wonder i love Oscar Wilde so much…I really honestly adore these stories!!
Wilde (1997) Stephen Fry has been my standard image for Henry Wotton but he does make a damn good Oscar & also Michael Sheen as Robbie Ross is everything
Dorian Gray (2009) now…i have to admit i haven’t watched this but with all things considered i think i’m slightly justified in that due to the blatant disregard of Dorian’s descriptions in the book
Articles / other things to check out!!
queerhistoryproject has 2 great articles on Oscar here & here!!
An article on Dorian Gray which is great
This article explains a bit about where Oscar was coming from in the whole ‘aestheticism’ movement!!
And if you’re really keen (like me) there’s this one on Ernest
I’ll cut my info dump off here - it seems like an ok place to stop! I’ll probably make more posts about Oscar-related things & any lit revision that I think might be useful to put up on this blog? I hope you enjoy the crash-course in Oscar Wilde & that this is all somewhat useful!! :]