Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde
  • Caricatured as a monkey on the cover of Harper’s Weekly
  • Referred to as an ‘animal’ by the National Republican
  • “Unclean … poisonous,” “nasty … nauseous” (The London Daily Chronicle and the St. James Gazette reviews of The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Oscar Wilde faced discrimination and mockery for being Irish, and was tried and imprisoned for homosexuality. His first book of poetry was rejected by the Oxford library, and his subsequent works were derided by critics for being offensive.

Some 100 years later, he was commemorated with a stained glass window in Westminster Abbey, posthumously pardoned for his crimes, and featured in San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk. “The Importance of Being Earnest” has been described as “the second most known and quoted play in English after Hamlet.”