Written from Wilde's prison cell at Reading Gaol to his friend and lover Lord Alfred Douglas, De Profundis explodes the conventions of the traditional love letter and offers a scathing indictment of Douglas's behavior, a mournful elegy for Wilde's own lost greatness, and an impassioned plea for reconciliation. At once a bracingly honest account of ruinous attachment and a profound meditation on human suffering, De Profundis is a classic of gay literature. Richard Ellmann calls De Profundis "a love letter...One of the greatest, and the longest, ever written."
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains newly commissioned notes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Oscar Wilde created his final and most lasting play, comic masterpieces of all time, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, in 1895. Considered one of the greatest THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a farce, playing with love, religion, and truth as it tells the tale of two men. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who bend the truth in order to add excitement to their lives. Jack invents an imaginary brother, Ernest, whom he uses as an excuse to escape from his dull country home and gallavant in town. Meanwhile, Algernon follows Jack's scam, but his imaginary friend, Bumbury, provides a convenient method of adventuring in the country. However, their deceptions eventually cross paths, resulting in a series of crises that threaten to spoil their romantic pursuits. Hailed as the first modern comedy in England, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is Wilde's most famous work. This collection also features two other plays that Wilde penned earlier in his career, LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN and AN IDEAL HUSBAND, that also display his ability to convey warmth and wit through his hilarious characters and their outlandish situations.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY IRVINE WELSHDorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story...
Flamboyant and controversial, Oscar Wilde was a dazzling personality, a master of wit, and a dramatic genius whose sparkling comedies contain some of the most brilliant dialogue ever written for the English stage. Here in one volume are his immensely popular novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; his last literary work, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," a product of his own prison experience; and four complete plays: Lady Windermere's Fan, his first dramatic success, An Ideal Husband, which pokes fun at conventional morality, The Importance of Being Earnest, his finest comedy, and Salomé, a portrait of uncontrollable love originally written in French and faithfully translated by Richard Ellmann.
Every selection appears in its entirety-a marvelous collection of outstanding works by the incomparable Oscar Wilde, who's been aptly called "a lord of language" by Max Beerbohm.
From the Paperback edition.
Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is his most popular work. Written in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams and shrewd observations, the tale of Dorian Gray's moral disintegration caused something of a scandal when it first appeared in 1890. Wilde was attacked for his decadence and corrupting influence. He responded that, while he was 'quite incapable of understanding how a work of art can be criticized from a moral standpoint,' there is, in fact, 'a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.' A few years later the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde's homosexual liaisons, trials that resulted in his imprisonment.
Who would have thought a comedy of manners written more than a hundred years ago would still be so apt and so funny? Oscar Wilde was a genius of play-writing, and his deftness, wit and sharp eye for social satire keep audiences in thrall to this day. Alongside Earnest, discover a biblical tragedy retold, Lady Windemere and her infamous fan and Wilde's take on an ideal husband, in this selection of Wilde's most important plays.
Oscar Wilde, although most commonly known as a playright, was also a critic. The Artist as Critic is a wide selection of Wilde's book reviews as well as famous longer works such as "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.," "The Soul Man under Socialism," and the four essays which make up Intentions.