It can be said that Oscar Wilde was the first person who became famous for merely being famous through self-promotion. In the late 1800’s he was. the one responsible for the creation of what we now call “celebrity culture”.

His first public display was in London when he was aged 22. He went to an art gallery opening attended by The Prince of Wales wearing an evening jacket specially tailored, shaped, and decorated so that when viewed from the rear it transformed its wearer into a walking- talking musical instrument – a cello! The press and society certainly sat up a took notice of him after that!

He traveled to America, where he got rockstar treatment. By the end of his trip, based on little but his own determination and wit he had become a household name. Advertisers used his photos to sell products such as cigars and kitchen stoves.

We love his quote “there is one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”.

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BTW, did you know that Oscar has a Mayo connection.

His paternal grandmother, Amelia Fynn (or Flynn) was from Ballymagibbon, near Cong, County Mayo.

His father William Wilde built a holiday home Moytura House, on the Cross to Cong road in 1865. Oscar spent many summers there as a child.

This is a photograph of Oscar ( far right) aged 23 in 1878, on the steps of Ashford Castle, Cong. County Mayo. He was attending a house party hosted by Lord and Lady Ardilaun  ( of the Guinness dynasty)who resided there.

Ashford Castle is now a world renowned 5 star hotel.