Eccentric Irish Writer
landed him in prison.
| Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was
a famous eye doctor, and was knighted for his excellent service to Queen
Victoria. His mother was a writer of patriotic Irish verse under the pseudonym,
Speranza. He was educated at Trinity College and later at Oxford
where he discovered the dangerous and delightful distinction of being different
from others. While studying at Oxford, Wilde was influenced by Walter Pater
and his doctrine of art for art's sake. After moving to London in 1879,
Wilde greatly supported this belief and became the leader and model of
the aesthetic movement, which was based on this doctrine.
Wilde was a poet and author his whole life. He wrote a
brilliant novel, several plays, numerous poems, and even fairy tales. His
novel is called "The Picture of Dorian Gray." It is about a young
man who makes a deal with the Devil that gave him the ability to remain
young while his portrait aged. The story took on heavy moral issues
and, in it's day, was absolutely revolutionary.
In 1884, he married Constance Lloyd. They had two sons:
Cyril and Vyvyan. In 1891, he met Alfred Douglas, the poet son of the Marquess
of Queensberry, and they became attracted to each other. The Marquess found
out about their association and charged Wilde with homosexual
offences. After two trials, Wilde was found guilty and sentenced to two
years of hard labor in prison. After he got out of prison, Wilde left England
for France and used the assumed name Sebastian, after the Christian martyr.
Oscar Wilde died poor in 1900.
For the Love
of a Commoner
| In the entire history of Great Britain there has been only one
voluntary royal abdication and it came about in 1936 solely because of
one woman, Mrs. Simpson. During the previous year, she was as intimate
with Edward as she was later on, but he was then only Prince of Wales and
there was no reason to think she was not going to remain the wife of Mr.
The newspapers of the day reported that, "Two years ago
Mrs. Simpson was hardly known as Edward's friend outside the most limited
Mayfair set. Three years ago their friendship was furtive: she would just
happen to be in a London nightclub with her own party, the Prince of Wales
would also just happen to be there with his, and an servant would go over
to her table and ask if she would care to dance with H.R.H."
Edward of Wales had had many another friend on the same
terms, and Mrs. Simpson was an ordinary divorcee
of the international set. However, she was not rich and seldom or
never mentioned in society columns. In 1936 she became the most talked
about, written about, headlined, and interest-compelling person in the
world. In these respects, no woman in history has ever equaled Mrs. Simpson,
for no press or radio existed to spread the world news she made.
In England the news that the King, as king, wanted to
marry Mrs. Simpson was the final culmination of a tide of events sweeping
the United Kingdom out of its cozy past and into a more or less hectic
future. The Prime Minister provoked the entire crisis, which otherwise
might never have arisen as such, by making the first official statement
in the House of Commons that King Edward was actually resolved to marry
Mrs. Simpson. This fact had been ascertained as a "scoop" personally by
William Randolph Hearst, but had it not been made official, Edward VIII
might simply have done nothing until after he was crowned on May 12, and
then (Mrs. Simpson having meanwhile obtained her absolute divorce on April
27) His Majesty had only to marry her and she would have been Queen.
This was a case where a unique kind of love overcame the
strength and power of the British Empire.
| A product of Victorian England, English poet Elizabeth
Barrett Browning lived for years as an invalid who was dominated by her
father. However, "Sonnets from the Portuguese," her most well known
work, was written after she escaped her father's control. It is a
set of love poems written for the poet
Robert Browning-- who first admired her poetry, then became her friend,
and finally her husband. After their marriage,
they moved to Italy, where her health markedly improved and where their
son was born.
Elizabeth Barrett was thirty-nine and an invalid when
Robert Browning stormed his way into her life. She was at that time a well-known
author. He was a promising but hardly known poet. They got
married and moved to Italy in 1846, where Elizabeth made a miraculous recovery
of her health and, at the age of forty-three, gave birth to their
Only her death in 1861 was to separate them. Elizabeth Browning's wonderful
'Sonnets from the Portuguess' were written to her husband without
thought of publication. Robert Browning urged to publish them.
Is it so unusual that two of the greatest poets of their
time should have such a strong attraction to each other? What makes
their relationship so interesting is their total commitment
to each other despite the realities of their lives.
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
exist in our world. We ask for neither acceptance or approval but
hope that each visitor who reviews the pages of this site will leave them
with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
existed and will continue to exist as long as there are at least two human
beings living on this planet. If the effort put into creating and
maintaining this site results in others coming to the realization that
the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
by the personal belief system of others, then it will have served it's