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They had two sons: Cyril, born in , and Vyvyan, born in A year after his wedding, Wilde was hired to run Lady's World , a once-popular English magazine that had recently fallen out of fashion. During his two years editing Lady's World , Wilde revitalized the magazine by expanding its coverage to "deal not merely with what women wear, but with what they think and what they feel.

The Lady's World ," wrote Wilde, "should be made the recognized organ for the expression of women's opinions on all subjects of literature, art and modern life, and yet it should be a magazine that men could read with pleasure. Beginning in , while he was still serving as editor of Lady's World , Wilde entered a seven-year period of furious creativity, during which he produced nearly all of his great literary works. In , he published Intentions , an essay collection arguing the tenets of aestheticism, and that same year, he published his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The novel is a cautionary tale about a beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, who wishes and receives his wish that his portrait ages while he remains youthful and lives a life of sin and pleasure.

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Though the novel is now revered as a great and classic work, at the time critics were outraged by the book's apparent lack of morality. Wilde vehemently defended himself in a preface to the novel, considered one of the great testaments to aestheticism, in which he wrote, "an ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style" and "vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. Wilde's first play, Lady Windermere's Fan , opened in February to widespread popularity and critical acclaim, encouraging Wilde to adopt playwriting as his primary literary form.

Over the next few years, Wilde produced several great plays—witty, highly satirical comedies of manners that nevertheless contained dark and serious undertones. Around the same time that he was enjoying his greatest literary success, Wilde commenced an affair with a young man named Lord Alfred Douglas. On February 18, , Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, who had gotten wind of the affair, left a calling card at Wilde's home addressed to "Oscar Wilde: Posing Somdomite," a misspelling of sodomite.

Although Wilde's homosexuality was something of an open secret, he was so outraged by Queensberry's note that he sued him for libel. The decision ruined his life. When the trial began in March, Queensberry and his lawyers presented evidence of Wilde's homosexuality—homoerotic passages from his literary works, as well as his love letters to Douglas—that quickly resulted in the dismissal of Wilde's libel case and his arrest on charges of "gross indecency.

Wilde emerged from prison in , physically depleted, emotionally exhausted and flat broke. He went into exile in France, where, living in cheap hotels and friends' apartments, he briefly reunited with Douglas. Wilde wrote very little during these last years; his only notable work was a poem he completed in about his experiences in prison, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Wilde died of meningitis on November 30, , at the age of More than a century after his death, Wilde is still better remembered for his personal life—his exuberant personality, consummate wit and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality—than for his literary accomplishments. Nevertheless, his witty, imaginative and undeniably beautiful works, in particular his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest , are considered among the great literary masterpieces of the late Victorian period. Throughout his entire life, Wilde remained deeply committed to the principles of aestheticism, principles that he expounded through his lectures and demonstrated through his works as well as anyone of his era.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe to the Biography newsletters to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Wild Bill Hickok was an American frontiersman, army scout and lawman who helped bring order to the frontier West. Famous for his women's evening wear and suits, his line is distinctly modern yet feminine.

Other authors such as Anthony Hope and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote mainly for adults, but their adventure novels are now generally classified as for children. Other genres include nonsense verse , poetry which required a childlike interest e. Lewis Carroll. Compiling folk tales by many authors with different topics made it possible for children to read literature by and about lots of different things that interested them. There were different types of books and magazines written for boys and girls.

Girls' stories tended to be domestic and to focus on family life, whereas boys' stories were more about adventures. The Victorian era was an important time for the development of science and the Victorians had a mission to describe and classify the entire natural world. Much of this writing does not rise to the level of being regarded as literature but one book in particular, Charles Darwin 's On the Origin of Species , remains famous.

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The theory of evolution contained within the work challenged many of the ideas the Victorians had about themselves and their place in the world. Although it took a long time to be widely accepted, it would dramatically change subsequent thought and literature. Much of the work of popularizing Darwin's theories was done by his younger contemporary Thomas Henry Huxley , who wrote widely on the subject. A number of other non-fiction works of the era made their mark on the literature of the period. The philosophical writings of John Stuart Mill covered logic , economics, liberty and utilitarianism.

The writings of Thomas Babington Macaulay on English history helped codify the Whig narrative that dominated the historiography for many years.

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  • John Ruskin wrote a number of highly influential works on art and the history of art and championed such contemporary figures as J. Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. A number of monumental reference works were published in this era, most notably the Oxford English Dictionary which would eventually become the most important historical dictionary of the English language.

    The old Gothic tales that came out of the late 19th century are the first examples of the genre of fantastic fiction. These tales often centred on larger-than-life characters such as Sherlock Holmes , famous detective of the times, Sexton Blake , Phileas Fogg , and other fictional characters of the era, such as Dracula , Edward Hyde , The Invisible Man , and many other fictional characters who often had exotic enemies to foil.

    Spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a particular type of story-writing known as gothic. Gothic literature combines romance and horror in attempt to thrill and terrify the reader. Possible features in a gothic novel are foreign monsters, ghosts, curses, hidden rooms and witchcraft.

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    Gothic tales usually take place in locations such as castles, monasteries, and cemeteries, although the gothic monsters sometimes cross over into the real world, making appearances in cities such as London. Writers from the United States and the British colonies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada were influenced by the literature of Britain and are often classed as a part of Victorian literature, although they were gradually developing their own distinctive voices.

    The problem with the classification of "Victorian literature" is the great difference between the early works of the period and the later works which had more in common with the writers of the Edwardian period and many writers straddle this divide. Wells , Bram Stoker , H. Rider Haggard , Jerome K. Jerome and Joseph Conrad all wrote some of their important works during Victoria's reign but the sensibility of their writing is frequently regarded as Edwardian.

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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: English novel. Main article: English poetry.

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    See also: Nature writing. Children's literature portal. Penguin Books. Retrieved 15 September Oxford University Press. Gale Cengage. Retrieved 16 June Children's Books in the Victorian Era. International Library of Children's Literature.