Oscar Wilde
Born: 16 Oct, 1854
Died: 30 Nov, 1900
Field: Writer; poet
Location in the Abbey: Poets corner
Type of memorial: Window
Type of material: Glass

On 14 February 1995 a small stained glass memorial was unveiled in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey for Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde, playwright and aesthete. The window, above the monument to Geoffrey Chaucer, was designed by Graham Jones and contains small lozenges within it which have been filled, or will be filled in the future, with names of poets and writers. The others so far commemorated in this way are Alexander Pope, Robert Herrick, A.E.Housman, Frances Burney and Christopher Marlowe. Wilde's inscription reads simply:

1854 Oscar Wilde 1900

The memorial was unveiled by his grandson Merlin Holland and the address was given by Seamus Heaney. Sir John Gielgud read from the final part of De Profundis, the letter written to Lord Alfred Douglas when Wilde was in Reading gaol in 1897. Dame Judi Dench and Michael Denison read an extract from The Importance of Being Earnest. Flowers were laid by Thelma Holland, widow of Oscar's son Vyvyan.

The complete window forms a memorial to Edward Horton Hubbard (1937-89), architectural historian, presented by his father Jack in 1994.

A photograph of the Wilde memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

 

Further reading for Oscar and his parents William and Jane:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

See www.oscarwildesociety.co.uk