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Oscar Wilde

On 14th 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 (1937-1989), architectural historian, presented by his father Jack in 1994.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Oscar Wilde Society

Born

16th October 1854

Died

30th November 1900

Memorial

14th February 1995

Field

Writer; poet; playwright

Location

South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type

Window

Material Type

Glass

Sepia photo of Oscar Wilde, seated, wearing a fur-trimmed coat and holding a long walking stick
Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Stained glass window of white and coloured glass reading: '1854 Oscar Wilde 1900'
Oscar Wilde window panel, Poets' Corner

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

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Alex - Abbey Marshal

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