(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)
Introduction by Terry Eagleton
Oscar Wilde has been acknowledged as the wittiest writer in the English language. This collection proves that he was also one of the most versatile. Effortlessly achieved, each revealing a different aspect of his brilliance, all of the plays, prose writings, and poems gathered here support Wilde’s belief that entertainment provides the best kind of edification. The works gathered here include Wilde’s once-controversial and now classic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, the rioutously (sic) comic plays “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” and the famous poem he wrote after being released from prison, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” This expanded new edition now includes the complete version of Wilde’s moving letter from prison, De Profundis, and his teasing parable about Shakespeare, The Portrait of Mr. W. H. Other notable included writings are the semi-comic mystery story “Lord Arthur’s Savile’s Crime” and the essay The Soul of Man Under Socialism.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was a Victorian-era British author and playwright. In his youth, Wilde became attached to the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized the appreciation of the aesthetic value of cultural creations above social or political purposes, and this philosophy influenced his work throughout his career. The themes of art and beauty are particularly present in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, , and in his two most popular dramatic works, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. A quarrel with the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred, resulted in Wilde's arrest and imprisonment for gross indecency. Wilde died in 1900, penniless and in exile, as a result of cerebral meningitis contracted while in prison.
Terry Eagleton was born in Manchester, England. The author of more than forty books, including the seminal Literary Theory: An Introduction, he has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Manchester. He resides in Dublin, Ireland.