Oscar Wilde


'And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long broken urn
For his mourners will be outcast men
And outcasts always mourn'


Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France, Europe. (Also buried here are Jim Morrison and the French poet Paul Eluard.)

Oscar Wilde's Grave complete with graffiti

Whilst in Reading Gaol Wilde received an ear injury which was not properly treated. Late in 1900 he developed further infections which led to meningitis, and his subsequent death at the age of 46.

He died penniless and alone in a Paris hotel. 

On his deathbed he converted to Catholicism. By becoming a catholic he enacted one of his well known witticisms: The Church of England is the best to live in, but the Catholic Church is the best to die in. He is also reputed to have said, on being presented with an expensive medical bill, ' I suppose that I will have to die beyond my means'.

He was originally buried in the Bagneaux Cemetery but his remains were moved to Père Lachaise - the French National Cemetery - on July 19, 1909. However, the famous tomb, sculpted by Jacob Epstein was not added until 1914. It is now visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year - many of whom are gay men who come to pay their respects. The tomb is covered in lipstick kisses.

The ashes of Robert Ross (a former lover) are also buried in the tomb.


Sculpture by Maggi Hambling
nr Charing Cross Station London

Photograph by Colin Briggs




Photos by Sinéad Kent

Wilde is chiefly remembered for his elegant and witty stage plays such as  The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan.

His famous autobiographical poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol was published in 1898.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
   By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
   Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
   The brave man with a sword!

From The Ballad Of Reading Gaol






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