The Plays of Oscar Wilde [NOOK Book]

Overview

Immerse yourself in the world of Oscar Wilde with the collection: "The Plays of Oscar Wilde." Containing all of Wilde's plays, this collection is a must-have for every bookshelf. Oscar Wilde was born in mid-1800's Dublin to highly intellectual parents. He found a niche in the growing trend of aestheticism and was mentored by Walter Pater and John Ruskin. Although he dabbled in short stories and poems at the beginning of his career, Wilde was taken seriously after his first novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray." The ...
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The Plays of Oscar Wilde

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Overview

Immerse yourself in the world of Oscar Wilde with the collection: "The Plays of Oscar Wilde." Containing all of Wilde's plays, this collection is a must-have for every bookshelf. Oscar Wilde was born in mid-1800's Dublin to highly intellectual parents. He found a niche in the growing trend of aestheticism and was mentored by Walter Pater and John Ruskin. Although he dabbled in short stories and poems at the beginning of his career, Wilde was taken seriously after his first novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray." The horrifyingly beautiful tale was just the catalyst that Wilde needed in order achieve success as a playwright. The next year, he wrote the play "Salome" to mild acclaim. It was denied a performance due to its portrayal of biblical characters, but it was eventually published in London and Paris. Wilde would subsequently produce some of his most famous works, biting comedic portrayals of society which include "Lady Windermere's Fan," "A Woman of No Importance," and "An Ideal Husband." The plays were wildly funny and beloved by most audiences, though some of the upper-class patrons were shocked at Wilde's treatment of their lifestyle. Wilde would return to these same themes with his masterpiece "The Importance of Being Earnest," a tale about upper-class morality and ennui. Also included in this collection are "Vera; or, The Nihilists," "The Duchess of Padua," and the fragmentary works "La Sainte Courtisane" and "A Florentine Tragedy."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420947311
  • Publisher: Digireads.com Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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

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