Well it should go to Oscar Wilde of course. From his origins in Dublin to his life in London and Brighton – Oscar certainly lived his life. During a time of straight laced up-tightness and moral righteousness he stood out as his own man. Son of an acclaimed doctor as a father and a poet for a mother he definitely inherited his mother’s rebellious spirit. His memorial in Dublin has been a sight of literary graffiti with the likes of Seamus Heaney, Bono and many others leaving their quotes on the Pillar of Art which stands close to the statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square.
“I drink to keep body and soul apart.”
SEAMUS HEANEY, Poet.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.”
Oscar’s fateful meeting with Lord Alfred Douglas ‘Bosie’ took place in Chelsea but much of their love affair took place in Brighton hotels. While staying at the Royal Albion Hotel in 1894 they literally left their mark on Brighton when they crashed their horse and carriage into the garden railings on Regency Square, an incident which was described by Wilde as an “accident of no importance”. Wilde also stayed at the Metropole where he nursed ‘Bosie’ through a bout of flu, only for him to ungratefully move on to the Grand when Wilde succumbed to the flu. He was to suffer further when he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for his affair with Bosie; his health never recovered. After his death ‘Bosie’ lived in Nizells Avenue in Hove for some time.