The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

III. Critical and Miscellaneous Prose

§ 18. Oscar Wilde

While Pater represented the aesthetic movement in its most earnest phase, Oscar Wilde gave utterance to its principles in the language of persiflage. In verse and in prose, in lyrics, in “trivial comedies for serious people” that sparkled with wit, in essays often bright with raillery and occasionally weighty with thought, he proved that he possessed a remarkably varied genius. The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis are the product of his tragic overthrow, and are well worth all that he had previously written.