During the late 19th century, Oscar Wilde rose to fame as a lauded author but also for his aestheticism and controversy. This guide provides access to materials related to "Oscar Wilde" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
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 in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
October 16, 1854
Oscar Wilde is born, Dublin, Ireland.
Reads Classics at Trinity College, Dublin.
Attends Magdalen College, Oxford.
Wilde publishes a book of poems.
Travels throughout the United States on lecture tour.
Brief visit to New York for the staging of his first play, "Vera."
Novel "Picture of Dorian Gray" is published.
February 14, 1895
Play "The Importance of Being Earnest" premieres in London.
Incident with the Marquess of Queensbury and the subsequent libel trial.
Trial and conviction of Wilde on charges of sodomy and gross indecency.
May 1895-May 1897
Imprisonment in Pentonville and Wandsworth Prisons.
Leaves England to live in Paris.
November 30, 1900
Wilde dies of cerebral meningitis; buried in Cimetiere de Bagneux.
Wilde's remains are disinterred and reburied in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.