With all the hoopla about Charles Dickens, it’s made me think about another one of my favorite authors of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, Oscar Wilde. I think the first time I became acquainted with Mr. Wilde was when he was featured in the television series Lillie on Masterpiece Theatre back in the late 1970’s. Lillie is the story of Lillie Langtry, as well-known for her affairs with royalty as she was as a stage actress and music hall performer. The young Wilde was an admirer and friend of Langtry and so was featured prominently in the series.
I was intrigued immediately with the persona I saw on the TV screen and I wanted to read and learn more about the real man and his prose. I whipped through The Picture of Dorian Gray, then the plays The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan. I loved the way he wrote, especially the humor.
Like Dickens, Oscar Wilde has remained in the public consciousness. There have been some really fun movies made from his work. My favorite has to be the 2002 version of The Importance of being Earnest with Colin Firth and Rupert Everett.