Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born in Dublin in 1854. He won scholarships to both Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by the radical aesthetics of Walter Pater. Flamboyant wit and man-about-town, Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. After publishing two volumes of short stories between 1887 and 1891, his social-comedy plays such as Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest established his critical and commercial success. In 1895 Wilde was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for homosexual conduct and died in Paris in obscurity a few years after his release.
Alison Larkin was born in Washington, DC, adopted at six weeks old by British parents, and raised in England and Africa. After graduating from Royal Holloway College, London University, and the
Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, she became a playwright and classical actress on the British stage. Then, at twenty-eight, she found her birth mother, who was living in Bald Mountain, Tennessee. The experience turned her into a stand-up comic. She was soon headlining at the Comic Strip in New York and the Comedy
Store in Los Angeles, while maintaining her theatrical career. She also spent three years under a studio development contract to star in her own sitcom with ABC,
CBS, and Jim Henson Productions. Her unusually wide range of voices can be heard in cartoons and movies, from work by James Cameron and Robert Altman to Pocahontas
and The Wonder Pets. The audiobook of The English American,
narrated by Alison, won an AudioFile Earphones Award. She has narrated over thirty audi books and lives in the Berkshires, western Massachusetts, with her husband and two children.
James Warwick’s acclaimed acting career has spanned the stage, television, and movies. He is best known for playing the role of Tommy Beresford in the 1980s British television series Partners in Crime and in three television films based on Agatha Christie novels.