"'To lose one child . . .' They both heard a touch of Lady Bracknell in this"
Oscar Wilde (c.1882)
Public DomainOscar Wilde (c.1882) - Credit: Napoleon Sarony/Library of Congress

Lady Augusta Bracknell is a character in The Importance of Being Earnest, a play by Oscar Wilde which was first performed in 1895. In the play, Lady Bracknell, while conversing with a character called John Worthing (also known as Jack), makes the famous remark:

To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.