Oscar Wilde, Irish born playwright and wit, 1882. Wilde (1854-1900) studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a reputation for his intelligence, wit and eccentricity. His plays brought him to literary prominence. Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), were all huge popular successes. In 1895 Wilde was found guilty of having a homosexual affair with Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas (1870-1945) and was imprisoned for two years for 'gross indecency'. His Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), written following his release, expressed his personal and harrowing experience of prison life. Wilde died in 1900 of cerebral meningitis.