Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was a prolific Irish writer who wrote plays, fiction, essays, and poetry. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
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The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence and back into bondage.