Best Plays

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The four great comedies of Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, were all written at the height of the controversial Irish author's powers in his last, doomed decade, the 1890s. They remain among the most-loved, and most-quoted, of all drama in the English language. Along with Salome, his darkly decadent dramatization of the Bible story, these immortal plays have continued to pack theatres to this day, and have been adapted for every kind of media. The plays were originally published in book form at Wilde's own insistence, the better to spread his genius wide.

Illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley, with an Afterword by Ned Halley.

About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flaherty Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He studied at Trinity College Dublin and then at Magdalen College Oxford where he started the cult of 'Aestheticism', which involves making an art of life. Following his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he published several books of stories ostensibly for children and one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).

Wilde's first success as a playwright was with Lady Windemere's Fan in 1892. He followed this up with A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on the London stage between 1892 and 1895. However Wilde's homosexual relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas was exposed by the young man's father, the Marquis of Queensbury. Wilde brought a libel suit against Queensbury but lost and was sentenced to two year's imprisonment. He was released in 1897 and fled to France where he died a broken man in 1900.

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Books by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
The Happy Prince & Other Stories
The Happy Prince & Other Stories
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray