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About the book
  • Published: 19 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780451531896
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $9.99

The Importance Of Being Earnest




A universal favorite, The Importance of Being Earnest displays Oscar Wilde's wit and theatrical genius at their brilliant best.  Subtitled 'A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,' this hilarious attack on Victorian manners and morals turns a pompous world on its head, lets duplicity lead to happiness, and makes riposte the highest form of art.  Written, according to Wilde, 'by a butterfly for butterflies,' it si a dazzling masterpiece of comic entertainment.

Although it was originally written in four acts, The Importance of Being Earnest is usually performed in a three-act version.  This authoritative edition features an appendix that restores valuable lines that appeared in the original.

Also included in this special collection are Wilde's first comedy success, Lady Windermere's Fan, and his richly sensual melodrama, Salomé, which he called 'that terrible coloured little tragedy I once in some strange mood wrote'-and which shocked and enraged the censors of his time.

With an Introduction by Sylvan Barnet and a New Afterword by Elise Bruhl and Michael Camer

  • Pub date: 19 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9780451531896
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $9.99

About the Author

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. He then lived in London and married Constance Lloyd in 1884. Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement. He became famous because of the immense success of his plays such as Lady Windemere's Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890 but was revised in 1891 after moralistic negative reviews.

After a public scandal involving Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, he was sentenced to two years' hard labour in Reading Gaol for 'gross indecency'. His poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol was published anonymously in 1898. Wilde never lived in England again and died at the age of forty-six in Paris on 30 November 1900. He is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery where admirers often leave the lipstick marks of kisses on his tomb.

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