Study Guide

Oscar Wilde Childhood

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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (yes, it's a mouthful) was born 16 October 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. His father was Sir William Wilde, a respected surgeon. His mother, Francesca Elgee Wilde, was a flamboyant, dramatic persona who, before her marriage, published revolutionary poems under the pen name "Speranza." Oscar was the second of the couple's three children, and also had three half-siblings that Sir William Wilde fathered before his marriage.

When he was nine, Wilde began his studies at the Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Ireland. At the age of sixteen, he enrolled at Trinity College in Dublin. Wilde was an outstanding student. He took an interest in the classics and was awarded the Berkeley Gold Medal, the highest honor available to classics students at Trinity. He competed for a scholarship to Oxford University's Magdalen College and won it. In 1874, twenty-year-old Oscar Wilde headed over to England to study at Oxford.

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