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Oscar Wilde is born

Today in Masonic history Oscar Wilde is born in 1854.

Oscar Wilde is an Irish writer and Poet.

Willde began his college education at Trinity College in Dublin where he was given a scholarship to read classics.

In the mid 1870's Wilde went to Magdalen College in Oxford England. During this time Wilde petitioned and was initiated into Apollo Masonic Lodge. After joining the fraternity Wilde began deeply considering converting to Catholicism. At the time he commented about Freemasonry "would be awfully sorry to give it up if I secede from the Protestant heresy". Wilde's father, who threatened to cut off his funds and his mentor J.P. Mahaffy were strongly against Wilde's conversion. Wilde, being a supreme individualist, finally balked at the idea and on the day of his baptism he sent the priest, Reverend Sebastian Bowden, a bunch of altar lilies rather than show up himself.

Also while at Magdalen, Wilde became part of the aesthetic and decadent movements.

After graduating from Magdalen College, Wilde returned to Dublin and became reacquainted with a childhood sweetheart, Florence Barcombe. She had become engaged to Bram Stoker and later the two would marry. Wilde lamented losing Florence and wrote to her on the subject.

Wilde informed Florence that he would be returning to England. He would only visit Dublin again twice, both were brief visits. On one of those visits he met his soon to be wife Constance Lloyd. The two would have two sons.

Wilde went on to work in journalism and would rite books and plays including "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" and the "Importance of being Earnest". While the "Importance of being Earnest" was being performed in London, the Marquees of Queensbury accused Wilde of the act of Sodomy. The Marquees was the father of Wilde's lover Lord Alfred Douglas. Against the advice of friends Wilde had the Marquee arrested for Libel, a crime at the time punishable by time in prison. The Marquees was able to prove his assertion and Wilde was the one who ended up in prison.

Wilde died poor in Paris, where he fled after he was released from prison in England.