The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays: Lady Windermere's Fan; Salome; A Woman of No Importance; An Ideal Husband; The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford World's Classics)
Oscar Wilde was already one of the best-known literary figures in Britain when he was persuaded to turn his extraordinary talents to the theatre. Between 1891 and 1895 he produced a sequence of distinctive plays which spearheaded the dramatic renaissance of the 1890s and retain their power today. This collection offers newly edited texts of Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome, An Ideal Husband, and, arguably the greatest farcical comedy in English, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Under the General Editorship of Dr Michael Cordner of the University of York, the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. In addition, there is a scholarly introduction and detailed annotation.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
By Rahina McWethy - October 16, 2010
The plays of Oscar Wilde sum up, even moreso than The Picture of Dorian Gray, all his flaws and talents and his propensity for playing the role of Oscar Wilde. If you're new to his world, I can't recommend a better introduction than the Oxford World's Classics edition of five of his most important plays.
"Lady Windermere's Fan" is an engaging start, high quality (excepting some rather awkward soliloquies), artificial and with a complex antagonist in Mrs. Erlynne. Lady Windermere evolves as a character, the pacing is well set and everyone walks away with one illusion...except Mrs. Erlynne. It walks the line between comedy and drama, and serves as a most enjoyable start.
"Salome" is atypical of the set, an aethetic work of art for art's sake. It's a heavy drama in one act, with overwrought, yet strangely believable phrases. I had to play "spot John the Baptist" for a while, not realizing that he was referred to as Iokanaan. It's a mood piece, weaving a fabulous... read more
By whj - April 30, 2011
All of the plays in this book are delightfully sardonic, hilarious and poignant about the superficiality/triviality and haphazardous nature of culture and humanity. They are rather formulaic, I must say, so it is best not to read them one after another, but it is absolute pleasure and always a delight to read anything by this author. No wonder he is most quoted... "I can resist everything except temptation." "Taking sides in the beginning of sincerity, and earnestness follows shortly afterwards, and the human being becomes a bore."We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body." "So much marriage is certainly not becoming. Twenty years of romance make a woman look like a ruin; but twenty years of marriage make her something like a public building."... So irreverent, so politically incorrect, so cleverly blatant...scary funny.
very much worth reading
By K. Josic - July 10, 2010
I've seen most of these as film adaptations before, but the plays themselves are quite an entertaining read. Sometimes these read just like a vehicle for Wilde's aphorisms, but even then they are very entertaining.
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