At the start of 1895, Oscar Wilde was the toast of London, widely feted for his most recent stage success, An Ideal Husband. But by May of the same year, Wilde was in Reading prison sentenced to hard labour. 'De Profundis' is an epistolic account of Oscar Wilde's spiritual journey while in prison, and describes his new, shocking conviction that 'the supreme vice is shallowness'. This edition also includes further letters to his wife, his friends, the Home Secretary, newspaper editors and his lover Lord Alfred Douglas - Bosie - himself, as well as 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol', the heart-rending poem about a man sentenced to hang for the murder of the woman he loved.
This Penguin edition is based on the definitive Complete Letters, edited by Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland. Colm Tóibín's introduction explores Wilde's duality in love, politics and literature. This edition also includes notes on the text and suggested further reading.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin. His three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, won him a reputation as a writer with an original talent, a reputation enhanced by the phenomenal success of his society comedies - Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.
Colm Tóibín is the author of five novels, including The Blackwater Lightship and The Master, and a collection of stories, Mothers and Sons. His essay collection Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar appeared in 2002. He is the editor of The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction.
De Profundis (Latin for “from the depths”) is Oscar Wilde’s reconciliation from a life full of pleasure. In 1891 the author began an intimate relationship with the young aristocrat Lord Alfred Douglas, known to his friends as Bosie. This affair led to speculations about Wilde’s sexuality just as his career was reaching its apex. Ultimately, Bosie’s father, the powerful Marquess of Queensberry, accused Wilde of homosexuality. As this conduct was considered a “gross indecency” punishable by hard labor, this was a serious charge, and one that ultimately landed Wilde in prison.
It wasn’t until January of 1897 that Wilde began to write from his cell. De Profundis, a scathing indictment of his former lover, is the letter that Wilde wrote to Bosie from prison. In addition to detailing the wrongs visited on Wilde by Bosie and his family, De Profundis traces the spiritual growth that Wilde experiences in prison. Having lost everything he holds dear, Wilde transforms his hardship into art.
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Wilde the writer is known to us from his plays and prose fiction, yet it was in his conversation that his genius reached its summit. His talk is lost, his autobiography was never written, but his letters reveal him at his spontaneous, sparkling best.
Of all nineteenth-century letter writers Oscar Wilde is, predictably, one of the most brilliant. Wonderfully fluent in style, the letters bear that most familiar of Wildean hallmarks – the lightest of touches for the most serious of subjects. He comments openly on his life and his work from the early years of undergraduate friendship, through his year-long lecture tour in America as a striving young 'Professor of Aesthetics', to the short period of fame and success in the early 1890s, when he corresponded with many leading political, literary and artistic figures of the time. Disgrace and imprisonment followed, but even in adversity his humour does not desert him.
In this beautifully produced volume Merlin Holland has brought together his most revealing letters with an illuminating commentary. Together they form the closest thing we shall ever have to Wilde's own memoir.
The well-known artist Basil Hallward meets the young Dorian Gray in the stately London home of his aunt, Lady Brandon. Basil becomes immediately infatuated with Dorian, who is cultured, wealthy, and remarkably beautiful. Such beauty, Basil believes, is responsible for a new mode of art, and he decides to paint a portrait of the young man. While finishing the painting, Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, a man known for scandal and exuberance. Wotton inspires Dorian to live life through the senses, to feel beauty in everyday experience. Dorian becomes enthralled by Wotton’s ideas, and more so becomes obsessed with remaining young and beautiful. He expresses a desire to sell his soul and have the portrait of him age, while he, the man, stays eternally young. A tragic story of hedonism and desire, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel.
'How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young... If it was only the other way!'
Wilde's first and only published novel recounts the story of handsome Dorian Gray who upon having his portrait painted desires that it will age and grow ugly while he may remain eternally beautiful. The painting, which reflects each of Gray's sins and transgressions in its hideousness, haunts him until it finally becomes unbearable. In this dark tale of duplicity and mortality, Wilde creates a world where art and reality collide.
Continuously in print since 1948, the Collins Complete Works of Oscar Wilde has long been recognised as the most comprehensive and authoritative single-volume collection of Wilde’s texts available, containing his only novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters, all in their most authoritative texts.
Also included is a comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Oscar Wilde, and a chronological table of his life and work.
In a London studio, two men contemplate the portrait of another—younger and more beautiful—man. Despite Lord Henry Wotton’s urging, Basil Hallward refuses to show his painting in public—there is too much of his true feeling for the subject in it. “I will not bare my soul to their shallow, prying eyes,” he declares. “My heart shall never be put under their microscope.”
Instead, it is Dorian Gray’s soul put under the microscope of this unforgettable novel. Influenced by the cynical, hedonistic Lord Henry, Dorian becomes infatuated with his own youth and beauty and wishes that his portrait would grow old instead of him. His wish comes true, but it is not just the passage of time that mars the painting—the wages of sin are recorded there as well. Freed from the physical toll of his debauchery, Dorian devotes himself to the pursuit of pleasure above all else. He turns on his friends, drives his lover to suicide, and engages in every vice known to man. To society, he remains as handsome and youthful as Prince Charming. In the painting, he is hideous. Too late, Dorian realizes that only one of these two images can be real, and a reckoning deferred is not a reckoning absolved.
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This ebook contains his complete works in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Wilde's enduring literary legacy again and again.
This collection features the following works:
Novel : The Picture of Dorian Gray
Short Stories :
1. The Birthday of the Infanta
2. The Canterville Ghost
3. The Devoted Friend
4. The Fisherman and His Soul
5. The Happy Prince
6. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
7. The Model Millionaire
8. The Nightingale and the Rose
9. The Portrait of Mr. W. H.
10. The Remarkable Rocket
11. The Selfish Giant
12. The Sphinx without a Secret
13. The Star-Child
14. The Young King
1. The Ballad of Reading Gaol
2. Collection of Poems
3. Miscellaneous Poems
4. Poems in Prose
6. The Sphinx
1. Art and the Handicraftsman
2. Children in Prison and Other Cruelties of Prison Life
3. The Critic as Artist
4. De Profundis
5. The Decay of Lying
6. The English Renaissance of Art
7. House Decoration
8. Impressions of America
9. Lecture to Art Students
10. London Models
11. Miscellaneous Aphorisms
12. Pen, Pencil and Poison
13. The Rise of Historical Criticism
14. Selected Prose
15. Shorter Prose Pieces
16. The Soul of Man
17. The Truth of Masks
1. A Florentine Tragedy — A Fragment
2. A Woman of No Importance
3. An Ideal Husband
4. The Duchess of Padua
5. For Love of the King
6. The Importance of Being Earnest
7. La Sainte Courtisane or, the Woman Covered with Jewels
8. Lady Windermere’s Fan
10. Vera, or the Nihilists
A Critic in Pall Mall
(The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde, 9788180320200)
Every selection appears in its entirety–a marvelous collection of outstanding works by the incomparable Oscar Wilde, who’s been aptly called “a lord of language” by Max Beerbohm.
From the Paperback edition.
Widely acknowledged as the most brilliant talker of his age, Wilde once explained to André Gide, "I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works." This fine collection of nearly 400 quotes, organized by category, contains quotations from both his works and his conversation, including gems from his personal life with which even devotees may be unfamiliar. The result is a splendid introduction to Wilde's mind and personality, embodied in a feast of the English language's most brilliant and perceptive witticisms.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s only full-length novel, is the enduringly eerie story of a naïve and irresistible young man lured by decadent Lord Henry Wotton into a life of depravity. Though Dorian is steeped in sin, his face remains perfect, unlined as years pass—while only his portrait, locked away, reveals the blackness of his soul. This timeless tale of Gothic horror and fable, reveling in the unabashed hedonism and cynical wit of its characters, epitomizes Wilde’s literary revolt against the proprieties of the Victorian era.
Sharing this volume with The Picture of Dorian Gray are Wilde’s clever and sophisticated story “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” and two of his delicate fairy tales, “The Happy Prince” and “The Birthday of the Infanta.”
With an Introduction by Gary Schnidgall
and an Afterword by Peter Raby
From the Paperback edition.
‘London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.’
Including some of Oscar Wilde’s most well-known and infamous plays, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, this collection of the infamous writer’s works displays his brilliant, quick wit to its full glory. Wilde’s pithy social comedies dissect the morals and idiosyncrasies of society in the 1890s and offer a view of the sexual politics of the time.
This edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray includes a Foreword, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Nancy Springer.
When Dorian Gray, a wealthy but naïve and irresistible young man, has his portrait pointed, he rashly wishes that he could remain as beautiful, youthful, and alluring as the handsome face in the portrait. Little does he know that his wish will come true. When encouraged by the decadent Lord Henry Wotton into a life of depravity and self-indulgence, Gray is stunned to discover that while the face in the painting is aging grotesquely, he is not! In fact, he remains as beautiful as ever. Nothing ages him.
But Gray's wanton lifestyle will eventually catch up with him, and the consequences of his reckless behavior will come to haunt him.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Wilde is familiar to us as the ironic critic behind the social comedies, as the creator of the beautiful and doomed Dorian Gray, as the flamboyant aesthete and the demonised homosexual. This volume presents us with a different Wilde. Wilde emerges here as a deep and serious reader of literature and philosophy, and an eloquent and original thinker about society and art.
Originally published in the late 1880s and early 1890s, these tales predate Wilde's fame as a dramatist. When he wrote them, he was best known among fashionable London society as a drawing-room raconteur. Many of the character types now familiar from his comedies first emerged in these stories, along with his gifted uses of parody, melodrama, paradox, and irony. Even more significantly, they reflect the author's preoccupation with opposites — idealistic love and desire, art and life, sincerity and artifice, innocence and sin, altruism and greed, and honesty and deceit — offering captivating expressions of the themes that dominated Wilde's life and thought.
Alongside THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE, Harper Perennial will publish the short fiction of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Herman Melville, Willa Cather, Leo Tolstoy, and Stephen Crane to be packaged in a beautifully designed, boldly colorful boxset in the aim to attract contemporary fans of short fiction to these revered masters of the form. Also, in each of these selections will appear a story from one of the new collections being published in the "Summer of the Short Story." A story from Simon Van Booy's forthcoming collection, LOVE BEGINS IN WINTER, will be printed at the back of this volume.
An Ideal Husband revolves around a blackmail scheme that forces a married couple to reexamine their moral standards — providing, along the way, a wry commentary on the rarity of politicians who can claim to be ethically pure. A supporting cast of young lovers, society matrons, an overbearing father, and a formidable femme fatale continually exchange sparkling repartee, keeping the play moving at a lively pace.
Like most of Wilde's plays, this scintillating drawing-room comedy is wise, well-constructed, and deeply satisfying. An instant success at its 1895 debut, the play continues to delight audiences over one hundred years later. An Ideal Husband is a must-read for Wilde fans, students of English literature, and anyone delighted by wit, urbanity, and timeless sophistication.
Unlike views of Depression life "from the bottom up" that rely on recollections recorded several decades later, this book captures the daily anguish of people during the thirties. It puts the reader in direct contact with Depression victims, evoking a feeling of what it was like to live through this disaster.
Following Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration, both the number of letters received by the White House and the percentage of them coming from the poor were unprecedented. The average number of daily communications jumped to between 5,000 and 8,000, a trend that continued throughout the Rosevelt administration. The White House staff for answering such letters--most of which were directed to FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Harry Hopkins--quickly grew from one person to fifty.
Mainly because of his radio talks, many felt they knew the president personally and could confide in him. They viewed the Roosevelts as parent figures, offering solace, help, and protection. Roosevelt himself valued the letters, perceiving them as a way to gauge public sentiment. The writers came from a number of different groups--middle-class people, blacks, rural residents, the elderly, and children. Their letters display emotional reactions to the Depression--despair, cynicism, and anger--and attitudes toward relief.
In his extensive introduction, McElvaine sets the stage for the letters, discussing their significance and some of the themes that emerge from them. By preserving their original spelling, syntax, grammar, and capitalization, he conveys their full flavor.
The Depression was far more than an economic collapse. It was the major personal event in the lives of tens of millions of Americans. McElvaine shows that, contrary to popular belief, many sufferers were not passive victims of history. Rather, he says, they were "also actors and, to an extent, playwrights, producers, and directors as well," taking an active role in trying to deal with their plight and solve their problems.
For this twenty-fifth anniversary edition, McElvaine provides a new foreword recounting the history of the book, its impact on the historiography of the Depression, and its continued importance today.
In August 2007 Jade Goody received the shattering news that she had cervical cancer. She was only 27 years old. But with her usual strength of character, Jade was determined to beat the disease and carry on with life as normal with her two little boys Bobby and Freddy.
Neither the chemotherapy, which left her weak and bald, or the hysterectomy that crushed her dreams of having a little girl, could break Jade's sunny personality or her fierce refusal to be a victim. But in February 2009, Jade received the tragic news that any mother dreads to hear: she was going to be torn from her beloved sons. The cancer had spread and was untreatable.
Forever In My Heart is Jade's final 'love letter' to her two little boys. Covering her initial diagnosis while appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in India, their emotional last Christmas as a family, her magical wedding to her partner Jack Tweed and her dying wish to see be christened with her boys, Jade's heart-breaking diary of her final months is set against a backdrop of flashbacks to her difficult early years, her rise to fame in the Big Brother house and those moments of joy and laughter as the nation's darling.
It is the powerful story of a young mother's brave fight against a terminal disease, her unique humour, her determination to provide for her sons and her fierce desire to leave a legacy which might prevent other young women being torn from their families in the prime of life.
A percentage of profits from the book will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a young German pastor who was executed by the Nazis in 1945 for his part in the “officers’ plot” to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
This expanded version of Letters and Papers from Prison shifts the emphasis of earlier editions of Bonhoeffer’s theological reflections to the private sphere of his life. His letters appear in greater detail and show his daily concerns. Letters from Bonhoeffer’s parents, siblings, and other relatives have also been added, in addition to previously inaccessible letters and legal papers referring to his trial.
Acute and subtle, warm and perceptive, yet also profoundly moving, the documents collectively tell a very human story of loss, of courage, and of hope. Bonhoeffer’s story seems as vitally relevant, as politically prophetic, and as theologically significant today, as it did yesterday.
The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a vibrant, deeply personal portrait of this revered American author, illuminating her thoughts, travels, philosophies, writing career, and dealings with family, friends, and fans as never before.
This is a fresh look at the adult life of the author in her own words. Gathered from museums and archives and personal collections, the letters span over sixty years of Wilder’s life, from 1894–1956 and shed new light on Wilder’s day-to-day life. Here we see her as a businesswoman and author—including her beloved Little House books, her legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, and her readers—as a wife, and as a friend. In her letters, Wilder shares her philosophies, political opinions, and reminiscences of life as a frontier child. Also included are letters to her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane, who filled a silent role as editor and collaborator while the famous Little House books were being written.
Wilder biographer William Anderson collected and researched references throughout these letters and the result is an invaluable historical collection, tracing Wilder’s life through the final days of covered wagon travel, her life as a farm woman, a country journalist, Depression-era author, and years of fame as the writer of the Little House books. This collection is a sequel to her beloved books, and a snapshot into twentieth-century living.
Charles Bukowski was a man of intense emotions, someone an editor once called a “passionate madman.” In On Love, we see Bukowski reckoning with the complications and exaltations of love, lust, and desire. Alternating between tough and gentle, sensitive and gritty, Bukowski lays bare the myriad facets of love—its selfishness and its narcissism, its randomness, its mystery and its misery, and, ultimately, its true joyfulness, endurance, and redemptive power.
Bukowski is brilliant on love—often amusing, sometimes playful, and fleetingly sweet. On Love offers deep insight into Bukowski the man and the artist; whether writing about his daughter, his lover, his friends, or his work, he is piercingly honest and poignantly reflective, using love as a prism to see the world in all its beauty and cruelty, and his own fragile place in it. “My love is a hummingbird sitting that quiet moment on the bough,” he writes, “as the same cat crouches.”
Brutally honest, flecked with humor and pathos, On Love reveals Bukowski at his most candid and affecting.
Neal Cassady is best remembered today as Jack Kerouac’s muse and the basis for the character “Dean Moriarty” in Kerouac’s classic On The Road, and as one of Ken Kesey’s merriest of Merry Pranksters, the driver of the psychedelic bus “Further,” immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. This collection brings together more than two hundred letters to Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, and other Beat generation luminaries, as well as correspondence between Neal and his wife, Carolyn. These amazing letters cover Cassady’s life between the ages of 18 and 41 and finish just months before his death in February 1968. Brilliantly edited by Dave Moore, this unique collection presents the “Soul of the Beat Generation” in his own words—sometimes touching and tender, sometimes bawdy and hilarious. Here is the real Neal Cassady—raw and uncut.
For John Steinbeck, who hated the telephone, letter-writing was a preparation for work and a natural way for him to communicate his thoughts on people he liked and hated; on marriage, women, and children; on the condition of the world; and on his progress in learning his craft. Opening with letters written during Steinbeck's early years in California, and closing with a 1968 note written in Sag Herbor, New York, Steinbeck: A Life in Letters reveals the inner thoughts and rough character of this American author as nothing else has and as nothing else ever will.
"The reader will discover as much about the making of a writer and the creative process, as he will about Steinbeck. And that's a lot." —Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
"A rewarding book of enduring interest, this becomes a major part of the Steinbeck canon." —The Wall Street Journal