Lady Windermere's Fan

( 3 )

Overview

Lady Windermere is jealous of her husband’s interest in an older woman. The fact that the older woman just happens to be Lady Windermere’s long-presumed-dead mother is just the beginning of this divinely funny comedy.
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Lady Windermere's Fan

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Overview

Lady Windermere is jealous of her husband’s interest in an older woman. The fact that the older woman just happens to be Lady Windermere’s long-presumed-dead mother is just the beginning of this divinely funny comedy.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dover goes Wilde with these two fine additions to its line of bargain titles. Lady Windermere is a typical Wilde farce; the latter volume is simply a collection of his best lines.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781500440084
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/7/2014
  • Pages: 84
  • Sales rank: 185,277
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Small is Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of a number of critical studies on Wilde and has edited several of Wilde's works, including a scholarly edition of Wilde's second society comedy, A Woman of No Importance, also published in the New Mermaids series.

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

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
The Author
The Play
The Play and its Drafts
Note on the Text and Textual and Critical Annotation
Note on the Staging
Further Reading
Lady Windermere's Fan 1
Dedication 2
The Persons of the Play 3
The Scenes of the Play 4
Text 5
Appendix 90
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    Lady Windermere's Fan...tastic!

    After reading this as part of my A-level english literature course I am compelled to inform you of the brilliance that it is. Through learning about Wilde in school I have learned to love him, this play being my reasoning.This comedy of manners is a sophistocated comment on society and still applicable to us today as through the conflicting viewpoints of Lord Darligton, a dandy, and Lady Windermere,a puritan, we can learn a great deal. The action of the play takes place within twenty-four hours and this is structured into four acts so this really doesn't take long to read. Lady Windermere's Fan had instant success and launched Wilde's career in 1892, it is important that people read this to understand why.I thoroughly recommend this play-5 stars. So what are you waiting for?Go buy it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Wild About Oscar!

    After reading The Portrait of Dorian Grey, I was very reluctant to take on another work by Wilde. I thought it would be gloomy, but this play was very lovely. I loved the contrast between each of the characters. And it's not one of those plays that are purposely lengthened just for the sake of it. It is very short, but definately worth it! You should also see the movie based on this play called A Good Woman with Scarlet Johannson and Helen Hunt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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