Oscar Wilde was a well renowned poet and playwright in 19th century England. Born in Dublin in 1854 Wilde left his homeland to study at Oxford University. While a student at Oxford, Wilde gained accolades as he received the Newdegate Prize for his poem "Ravenna" describing his feelings about the Italian city of the same name. Upon leaving the University, Wilde went on to publish his first volume of poetry entitled "Patience" and followed that work with a play entitled "The Duchess of Padua" in 1883.
Wilde eventually relocated to America and became well known for his unusual sense of fashion, long hairm and ostentatious personality. Although his personality made him instantly popular in his social circles, his work as an author did not become widely recognized until the publication of The Happy Prince and Other Tales a collection of children's stories in 1888.
Although Wilde did marry and have children, he led a double life as a homosexual and carried on an affair with aristocrat Lord Alfred Douglas. Eventually Wilde was accused of sodomy by Douglas' father, which resulted in Wilde attempting to sue Douglas' father in court. However, Wilde's homosexuality (unlawful at the time) was uncovered by the court. His own writing eventually lead to his legal demise as his published work The Picture of Dorian Gray was used to incriminate his homosexual tendencies. He was eventually sentenced to two years of hard labor in prison. Wilde did not fare well after his incarceration and eventually died a poor man's death in Paris at the age of 46.
If you are interested in hearing more Oscar Wilde's you can download a number of his great plays as full cast dramatizations on audio download including The Importance of Being Earnest , An Ideal Husband, and Lady Windermere's Fan.