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Word Count: 682
Oscar Wilde was born in 1854 and grew up in an intellectually influenced Irish home His mother was a poet who wrote under the pen name Speranza and his father was a well-known physician with an interest in myths and folk tale This was a very literature oriented family At Oxford he won a coveted poetry award and was swayed by the late nineteenth century aesthetic movement He found its idea of art for arts sake and dedicating ones life to art suitable to his character and ability From 1878 to 1881 Oscar Wilde became recognized for being well known in spite of having any real achievements to build on He placed himself into the class of people he labeled as the beautiful people who wore outrageous clothes passed himself off as an art critic and aesthete and built a reputation for saying shocking things and doing entertaining things When a customs inspector asked him if he had anything to declare he replied Nothing but my genius At 28 he lectured in 70 American and Canadian cities on the arts and literature His presentations were as popular as his audiences were mixed he spoke to Mormons in Salt Lake City silver miners in Colorado West Coast intellectuals in San Francisco farmers in Kansas and swung through Ontario and Quebec When he returned from America he had tired of being the Great Aesthete and returned to more standard form of dress He toured wrote two unsuccessful plays and a well received collection of childrens fairy tales married fathered two sons and took a position as editor of Womans World a monthly magazine for which he wrote literary criticism Two years later he got bored of journalism and returned to shining at parties and spending much of his time with friends and lovers often stepping over the boundaries
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