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Topics in Chronicling America - Oscar Wilde: Author and Aesthete

On November 30, 1900, Oscar Wilde dies of cerebral meningitis surrounded by a few friends in a Parisian hotel room. Known as an "Apostle of Esthetes," who wrote "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest," his life was marked by fame and controversy. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of Oscar

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Important Dates:

  • October 16, 1854: Oscar Wilde is born, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 1871-1874: Reads Classics at Trinity College, Dublin.
  • 1874-1878: Attends Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • 1881: Wilde publishes a book of poems.
  • January-August, 1882: Travels throughout the United States on lecture tour.
  • August, 1883: Brief visit to New York for the staging of his first play, "Vera."
  • April, 1891: Novel "Picture of Dorian Gray" is published.
  • February 14, 1895: Play "The Importance of Being Earnest" premieres in London.
  • February-April, 1895: Incident with the Marquess of Queensbury and the subsequent libel trial.
  • April-May, 1895: Trial and conviction of Wilde on charges of sodomy and gross indecency.
  • May, 1895-May, 1897: Imprisonment in Pentonville and Wandsworth Prisons.
  • May, 1897: Leaves England to live in Paris.
  • November 30, 1900: Wilde dies of cerebral meningitis; buried in Cimetiere de Bagneux.
  • 1909: Wilde's remains are disinterred and reburied in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
  • Use Oscar Wilde in Exact Phrase Box.
  • Remember: Aesthetic was sometimes spelled Esthetic.
  • Limit search by date to retrieve information about specific events.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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