The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

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Overview

Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's tale of a notorious Victorian libertine and his life of evil excesses. Though Dorian's hedonistic indulgences leave no blemish on his ageless features, the painted portrait imbued with his soul proves a living catalogue of corruption, revealing in its every new line and lesion the manifold sins he has committed. Desperate to hide the physical evidence of his unregenerate spirit, Dorian will stop at nothing--not even ...
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Overview

Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's tale of a notorious Victorian libertine and his life of evil excesses. Though Dorian's hedonistic indulgences leave no blemish on his ageless features, the painted portrait imbued with his soul proves a living catalogue of corruption, revealing in its every new line and lesion the manifold sins he has committed. Desperate to hide the physical evidence of his unregenerate spirit, Dorian will stop at nothing--not even murder--to keep his picture's existence a secret.
 
A scandalous story when it was first published in 1890, Wilde's novel is acknowledged a landmark of literature today and a tale emblematic of its time. This exquisite collectible edition features an elegant bonded-leather binding, a satin-ribbon bookmark, distinctive stained edging, and decorative marbled endpapers. It's the perfect gift for book-lovers and an artful addition to any home library.

An incredibly handsome young man in Victorian England retains his youthful appearance over the years while his portrait reflects both his age and evil soul as he pursues a life of decadence and corruption.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

These inexpensive Collectible Editions are Barnes & Noble exclusives, only available in our stores and on our website. Each of these novels is by any standard a classic; from Oscar Wilde's ominous The Picture of Dorian Gray and Bram Stoker's eerie Dracula to the strange human mysteries of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and the nuanced social satire of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Attractively bound and exquisitely readable, these Barnes & Noble Bargain deluxe classics boast a price less than many, if not most paperbacks. Frugal shoppers can fetch even greater savings by purchasing the handsome boxed set, containing all six leatherbound hardcovers for just $70.00! Arguably the best buy of the month.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Oscar Wilde
The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it." From his outsize celebrity in Victorian London to his authorship of fiction, drama, and poetry that uniquely captured his era, it's fair to say that Wilde succeeded on both counts.

Biography

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to an intellectually prominent Dublin family. His father, Sir William Wilde, was a renowned physician who was knighted for his work as medical adviser to the 1841 and 1851 Irish censuses; his mother, Lady Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poet and journalist. Wilde showed himself to be an exceptional student. While at the Royal School in Enniskillen, he took First Prize in Classics. He continued his studies at Trinity College, Dublin, on scholarship, where he won high honors, including the Demyship Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford.

At Oxford, Wilde engaged in self-discovery, through both intellectual and personal pursuits. He fell under the influence of the aesthetic philosophy of Walter Pater, a tutor and author who inspired Wilde to create art for the sake of art alone. It was during these years that Wilde developed a reputation as an eccentric and a foppish dresser who always had a flower in his lapel. Wilde won his first recognition as a writer when the university awarded him the Newdigate Prize for his poem "Ravenna."

Wilde went from Oxford to London, where he published his first volume of verse, Poems, in 1881. From 1882 to 1884, he toured the United States, Ireland, and England, giving a series of lectures on Aestheticism. In America, between speaking engagements, he met some of the great literary minds of the day, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Walt Whitman. His first play, Vera, was staged in New York but did poorly. After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884 and the birth of his two sons, Wilde began to make his way into London's theatrical, literary, and homosexual scenes. He published Intentions, a collection of dialogues on aesthetic philosophy, in 1891, the year he met Lord Alfred Douglas, who became his lover and his ultimate downfall. Wilde soon produced several successful plays, including Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and A Woman of No Importance (1893). Wilde's popularity was short-lived, however. In 1894, during the concurrent runs of his plays An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, he became the subject of a homosexual scandal that led him to withdraw all theater engagements and declare bankruptcy. Urged by many to flee the country rather than face a trial in which he would surely be found guilty, Wilde chose instead to remain in England. Arrested in 1895 and found guilty of "homosexual offenses," Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor and began serving time in Wandsworth prison. He was later transferred to the detention center in Reading Gaol, where he composed De Profundis, a dramatic monologue written as a letter to Lord Alfred Douglas that was published in 1905. Upon his release, Wilde retreated to the Continent, where he lived out the rest of his life under a pseudonym. He published his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, in 1898 while living in exile.

During his lifetime, Wilde was most often the center of controversy. The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was serialized in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890 and published in book form the next year, is considered to be Wilde's most personal work. Scrutinized by critics who questioned its morality, the novel portrays the author's internal battles and arrives at the disturbing possibility that "ugliness is the only reality." Oscar Wilde died penniless, of cerebral meningitis, in Paris on November 30, 1900. He is buried in Paris's Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Good To Know

To make ends meet, Wilde edited the popular ladies' periodical Woman's Day from 1887 to 1889.

When in exile on the Continent, Wilde was forced to live under the alias Sebastian Melmoth.

It is rumored that Wilde's last written words were found in his journal, left behind in the Left Bank flophouse where he died: "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has got to go."

Wilde is buried in the Paris cemetery of Père Lachaise; there, he keeps company with other famous artists, including Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 16, 1854
    2. Place of Birth:
      Dublin, Ireland
    1. Date of Death:
      November 30, 1900
    2. Place of Death:
      Paris, France

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This story is a marvelous reflection of Victorian society and it

    This story is a marvelous reflection of Victorian society and its debates about aestheticism. Are beautiful things and people of value simply because of their appearance? Is beauty a valid quality by which to judge people? The Victorians were truly dazzled by appearance and splendid presentation, and obsessed with tiny details of social life... I'd say Wilde's response is obvious to readers.
    Wilde examines the value of 'mere' beauty by telling the story of Dorian Gray, a physically perfect specimen who, upon viewing his latest portrait, becomes quite enamoured of his young, handsome self and deeply regrets that aging will diminish his current perfection.
    Dorian has a very influential friend who is also handsome, older and wiser, and who counsels Dorian to care only about himself, to exploit women, and indeed to exploit the innocence and naivete of all the young people he meets in society. Dorian grown to judge people by their appearance, their wealth, and other superficial characteristics. Leading his life in this way, of course, leads to a very ugly ending.

    This should be required reading in high school, when appearance seems to dominate everything. The Kardashians would not understand it. Thank you, Oscar, for a highly entertaining read.

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  • Posted December 19, 2013

    Perfect!

    I purchased this book as a gift for a friend (it is one of my favorites), and was sorely tempted to keep it myself. The book is gorgeous and does justice to the writing inside. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Highly recommended

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is an amazing book filled with so many ideas that make you question your own life and realky makes you think. There wete a few spots i gound a little hard to fallow but over all i loved the book .

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Excellent!A great writer a great read!

    I've owned this book in many formats over the years and I've always enjoyed reading Oscar Wilde. The Leatherbound Classic Series is a great value and a joy to own.

    sistina

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    I absolutely loved this book! My first ever by Oscar Wilde and I

    I absolutely loved this book! My first ever by Oscar Wilde and I was
    left deeply impressed. The development of Dorian Gray is as unmatched as
    the book itself. Easily the most beautiful book I own, i would buy this
    again any day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    I was excited to recieve this. I loved the story and fell in lov

    I was excited to recieve this. I loved the story and fell in love with this edition. The cover is beautiful (though the gold on the spine has worn a little) and the pages are thick and green-edged and error free. I recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Very Much Enjoyed

    I really liked the story. I found it interesting. As for the others' reviews - I would like to point out that it was actually published as The Picture of Dorian Gray, not portrait. Also, the edges of the pages are green because the cover of Wuthering Heights is green and it's page edges are a purpley brown color. The tie the colors of these together -- like Jane Eyre and Dracula.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    I just love this book, it's fantastic in all ways. The cover is so beautiful that you will want to keep it where everyone can see it. The story is well written and a classic. The leather is beautiful and the book is well bound.

    But spite that the book does have a few faults. For one thing I would have preferred the sides to be white or golden but not green. In my mind it just doesn't match the leather. Also the spelling. I've seen a couple grammar errors, most minor but I was quite surprised seeing the icelandic letter Æ, me being Icelandic.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    Wonderful Book

    First, the only thing that I will say is that when I first read this story by Oscar Wilde, the title was "The Portrait of Dorian Gray." It is a little odd that they would change the title of a classic, but perhaps the first edition I read was the one that was mistaken. This bit of confusion is the reason for my 4 star rating instead of 5.

    The leather is beautiful, and the print is a great size for those of us who have or have family that cannot read small print. The quality of the pages themselves is nice as well. It is a thick and sturdy book. However, just because it is a good quality book that does not mean it does not require the standard care such as a dry, humidity controlled room away from where one dines. Because the cover is leather, it will shrink when it comes in contact with water, which will cause a tear in it. :) Just keep that in mind.

    NOW TO THE STORY. I find the story quite captivating. Dorian Gray at first is seen as this young man of perfect society and upbringing, the classic Victorian man. However, Wilde does not sugarcoat anything. He criticizes the beautiful society and shows the hideous side that is right under everyone's jabot (well, mostly just Dorian's and his cruel interactions with those around him). The beginning I feel is a little slow moving, but that is supposed to be expected in order to establish the setting and the characters. Oscar Wilde is a brilliant author and though this story does not showcase his dry and witty humor as much as his other works, it has stood the test of time and is a great example of just pure, wonderful writing.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    Fantastic!

    I have always wanted to ready this book for a great many years. When I saw this cover I said to myself "I want to plotz". The cover is so unique, it is a match for the Beautiful Dorian Gray himself. When I was reading this leather bound book, I felt like I was being transported back into the Victorian era. This book is beautifully crafted and the story is masterfully written. Mazel Tov to Barnes and Noble for making a classic I will cherish. I am looking forward to many more leather classics like this!

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    Posted March 17, 2011

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    Posted February 21, 2011

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    Posted February 17, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2011

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    Posted May 23, 2014

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    Posted May 24, 2012

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