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“Women are made to be loved, not understood.” – Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish writer known for the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and the play “The Importance of Being Earnest.” He became one of the best-known personalities of his day because of his wit, flamboyance, and strong presence. His reputation took a sour turn when, going against the stern homophobic attitudes of the day, he was convicted for gross indecency with other men and imprisoned for two years of hard labour. Humiliated, he moved immediately to France upon his release.
The quote above comes from his collection of short semi-comic mystery stories entitled, “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories.” It consists of 4 stories and was added with another story, “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.” in the later editions.
The quote has become a memorable line from very short story “The Sphinx Without A Secret,” which tells about a man, Lord Murchison, who recounts to his old great friend a story of the woman he once loved but was now dead. The woman was secretive and mysterious that he one day followed her and found her going to a boarding house. The story later revealed that the woman he loved had no secrets at all and stayed in the boarding house all by herself, as she had told him. Unfortunately, she had already died of illness before he discovered his mistake.
Before Oscar Wilde died destitute in Paris at the age of 46, he wrote his last work “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” which speaks about his struggles as a prisoner.