Oscar WiIde, Irish writer, wit and playwright, c1890.
Oscar WiIde, Irish writer, wit and playwright, c1890. Wilde (1854-1900) was an exponent of art for art's sake. His best known novel is The Picture of Dorian Gray. He wrote a book of children's stories, The House of Pomegranates, and a series of plays including Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and The Importance of Being Ernest, which was believed by many to be the first modern comedy in English. Wilde was convicted of sodomy over his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas in a notorious trial, and was jailed at Reading from 1895-1897. After his release he moved to Paris and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol, protesting at the inhumane conditions in prisons at the time. He died suddenly in 1900 from meningitis. (Colorised black and white print). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)