Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. He was considered a brilliant student. In 1878, his poem Ravenna won the Newdigate Prize. Shortly after leaving university his first volume of poetry was published. He moved to London in 1879.
Wilde married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of a wealthy Dublin barrister, in 1884 and the couple had two sons. Wilde wrote fairy stories for his boys. These were later published as The Happy Prince and Other Tales.
After being married for 11 years, Wilde had left his wife and began having a homosexual affair with Alfred Douglas. In May 1895, Wilde was prosecuted and imprisoned for homosexuality under the terms of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. He served two years in Old Bailey in London. Regrettable, his mother died while he was still in jail
In 1897, after being released from Reading Prison, Wilde moved to France. A year later he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a poem inspired by his prison experience. Wilde's time in prison badly damaged his health and he died on November 30, 1900, in Paris, France, three years after leaving prison. He is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, in a tomb designed by Epstein.