“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go.”
Gravesites – Oscar Wilde – Bio
Irish Writer and Poet
Born October 16, 1854 – Died November 30, 1900
Last Words – Oscar Wilde – Note
At the height of his fame and success, whilst his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde sued the father of his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, for libel. After a series of trials, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency with other men and imprisoned for two years, held to hard labour.
In prison he wrote De Profundis (although written in 1897 it was first published in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure.
Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life.
Wilde was released from prison on 19 May 1897, and left England the next day for the continent, to spend his last three years in penniless exile.
His final address was at the dingy Hôtel d’Alsace (now known as L’Hôtel), in Paris; “This poverty really breaks one’s heart: it is so sale, so utterly depressing, so hopeless. Pray do what you can” he wrote to his publisher.
He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.
Oscar Wilde was sufficiently confined to his hotel to remark, on one of his final trips outside, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go.”