Author of classics such as The War in Mahtra and The Milkman from Mäekülouisiana He was one of the most revered figures in Estonian literature and is generally credited as being the country"s first professional writer Vilde grew on the farm where his father worked.
In 1883 he began working as a journalist.
His writings were also guided by the realism and naturalism of the French writer Émile Zola (1840–1902). In addition to being a prolific writer, he was also an outspoken critic of Tsarist rule and of the German landowners.
With the founding of the first Estonian republic in 1919, he served as an ambassador in Berlin for several years, and spent the last years of his life editing and revising an enormous volume of his collected works.