Wilde, Lady Jane and Oscar

(1826-1900)
   • Lady Jane, the mother, 1826-1896
   Jane Francisca Elgee, the daughter of an Episcopalian clergyman, was born at Wexford, Ireland, and in 1851 she married Sir William Robert Wills Wilde (1815-1876), an English surgeon. Lady Jane contributed Irish patriotic prose and verse to the Nation under the pseudonym "Speranza" until its suppression for sedition in 1848. In 1879, following the death of her husband, Lady Jane left Dublin for London, where she was a central figure of the circle of Irish writers. She contributed poems and articles to periodicals, including The Woman's World, of which Oscar was the editor in 1887-1889. She died while her son was in prison and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery, London. Her contribution to Irish literature is enormous. She published books on myths and legends, charms and superstitions, and a book on social studies. Some of her poems: "A Lament for the Potato," "An Appeal to Ireland," "Dedication: To Ireland," "The Brothers," "The Faithless Shepherds," "The Famine Year," "Thekla: A Swedish Saga," "'Tis Not Upon Earth."
   • Oscar, the son, 1854-1900
   Oscar O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, the younger son, was born in Dublin and educated at Portora royal school, Enniskillen, and at Trinity College, Dublin (1873-1874). There he won the Berkeley gold medal with an essay on the Greek comic poets. In 1878 he graduated B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied classics. In 1882 he toured the United States, lecturing two hundred times on "Æsthetic Philosophy" in New York, Boston, and Chicago. In the period between his marriage in 1884 and 1895, he wrote many plays, including The Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Ernest (1895); a novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891); and Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888), a book of fairy stories. His love relationship with Alfred Lord Douglas (see entry) resulted in his being convicted of homosexuality and sent to prison for two years in 1895. His experience inspired The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), written in France, where he died. His De Profundus (1905) was by way of a justification for his life. He is commemorated in the Rose Window of Westminster Abbey. Some of his poems: "Ballade De Marguerite," "Louis Napoleon," "Magdalen Walks," "Ravenna," "The Dole of the King's Daughter," "The Grave of Shelley," "Wasted Days."
   Sources: An Antholog y of World Poetry. Mark Van Doren, ed. Reynal and Hitchcock, Inc., 1936. Biography of Lady Jane Francesca Wilde. http://home.arcor.de/oscar.wilde/biography/speranza.htm). Complete Poetry of Oscar Wilde. Isobel Murray, ed. Oxford University Press, 1997. De Profundis by Oscar Wilde (http://www.upword.com/wilde/de_profundis.html). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. Modern British Poetry. 7th rev. ed. Louis Untermeyer, ed. Harcourt, Brace, 1962. Obituary of Oscar Wilde: The Times, December 1, 1900 (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/). Oscar Wilde's Last Stand. Philip Hoare, Arcade Publishing, 1998. Poems by Speranza (Lady Wilde). M.H. Gill and Son, Ltd., 1907. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Making of a Poem: A Norton Antholog y of Poetic Forms. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, eds. W.W. Norton, 2000. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date). Words of a Woman: A Website for Poems by Women (http://www.photoaspects.com/lilip/wilde.shtml).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

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