The Canterville Ghost is about a family who moves to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead nobleman, who killed his wife and was starved to death by his wife's brothers. Humor is the most powerful weapon used by Wilde to defuse the tension and scary atmosphere that characterize a traditional ghost story.
The birthday of the Infanta is about a hunchbacked dwarf, found in the woods by courtiers of the King of Spain. The hunchback's father sells him to the palace for the amusement of the king's daughter on her twelfth birthday.
Oscar Wilde (Dublín, 1854 – Paris, 1900)
Beginning in 1888, while he was still serving as editor of Lady's World, Wilde entered a seven-year period of furious creativity, during which he produced nearly all of his great literary works. In 1888, seven years after he wrote Poems, Wilde published The Happy Prince and Other Tales, a collection of children's stories.
In 1891, he published his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde's first play, Lady Windermere's Fan, opened in February 1892 to widespread popularity and critical acclaim. Over the next few years, Wilde produced several great plays. His most notable plays were A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.
More than a century after his death, Wilde is still better remembered for his personal life—his exuberant personality, consummate wit and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality—than for his literary accomplishments. Nevertheless, his witty, imaginative and undeniably beautiful works, in particular his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest, are considered among the great literary masterpieces of the late Victorian period.
Wilde died of meningitis on November 30, 1900 at the age of 46.