“Oscar Wilde, Spendthrift of Genius”: a documentary (1991)

This portrait of the multi-talented and self-destructive fin de siècle genius follows Wilde’s meteoric rise and fall. Portraying the many circles—academic, social, theatrical, literary—in Dublin, Oxford, London, and Paris—in which Wilde circulated, and generously sprinkled with Wilde’s infamous bons mots, the program also includes the only known recording by Wilde (of “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”). Written by Richard Ellmann, produced by Radio Telefís Éireann. (60 minutes)

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in London in the early 1890s.

He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for gross indecency for consensual homosexual acts in “one of the first celebrity trials”, imprisonment, and early death from meningitis at age 46.