Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish writer, poet, playwright, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is perhaps most well known for his 1890 novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey. Another particular area of literary success that Wilde found was in social dramas, such as his "Lady Windermere’s Fan." In the late 19th century, Wilde was a spokesman for the Aesthetic movement in England, which was a movement that advocated for "art for art’s sake."
In terms of university education, Wilde studied at both Trinity College in Dublin and Oxford University in England. During his years studying at Oxford, he wanted to gain a knowledge of Italian art and culture; thus, he took a trip to Italy in the summer of 1875. Wilde would go on to travel about Europe, visiting and living in several different cities including Rome, Paris, and London. While in England, Wilde made a name for himself in social and artistic circles through his wit and flamboyance.
When Wilde first met Vernon Lee in June of 1881, she described him in a letter to her mother, stating that “he talked a sort of lyrico-sarcastic maudlin cultschah for half an hour. But I think the creature is clever” (Ormond 1). Wilde frequented Il Palmerino during the last years of his life, including in 1894, mainly because of his acquaintance with Eugene Lee Hamilton, brother of Vernon Lee, whom he admired as a poet. .