© 2019

Oscar Wilde

A Literary Life


Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 1-34
  3. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 35-81
  4. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 83-132
  5. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 133-173
  6. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 175-216
  7. Kimberly J. Stern
    Pages 217-255
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 257-266

About this book


Oscar Wilde: A Literary Life tracks the intellectual biography of one of the most influential minds of the nineteenth century. Rather than focusing on the dramatic events of Wilde’s life, this volume documents Wilde’s impressive forays into education, religion, science, philosophy, and social reform. In so doing, it provides an accessible and yet detailed account that reflects Wilde’s own commitment to the “contemplative life.” Suitable for seasoned readers as well as those new to the study of his work, Oscar Wilde: A Literary Life brings Wilde’s intellectual investments into sharp focus, while placing him within a cultural landscape that was always evolving and often fraught with contradiction. 


Oscar Wilde's philosophy Victorian literature An Ideal Husband Wilde's religious influences King of the Aesthetes Wilde's writings on scientific thought Wilde’s Philosophy Notebook intellectual biography Lady Windermere’s Fan Fabian Society Irish Nationalism nineteenth-century social movements

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

About the authors

Kimberly J. Stern is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She is the editor of a Broadview edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (2015) and author of The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Criticism, and the Politics of Belonging (2016).

Bibliographic information


“Stern reveals the overlooked significance of Wilde’s encounters with multidisciplinary periodical literature and surveys his considerable contribution to fin de siècle periodical culture. … his influence upon periodical culture was equally significant and deserving of study by both scholars and enthusiasts.” (Rebecca Nesvet, Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. 53 (2), 2020)

“Oscar Wilde: A Literary Life is a well-researched, well written account of Wilde’s intellectual life and how he thought. readers will, though, enjoy stern’s study to the fullest if they come to it with a thoroughgoing knowledge of what Wilde thought, by close acquaintance with his works and by having already read a more traditional kind of biography.” (Aaron Eames, The Wildean, July, 2020)