The Importance of Being Earnest

Courier Corporation
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Free sample

Here is Oscar Wilde's most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions in countless productions since its first performance in London's St. James' Theatre on February 14, 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.
From the play's effervescent beginnings in Algernon Moncrieff's London flat to its hilarious denouement in the drawing room of Jack Worthing's country manor in Hertfordshire, this comic masterpiece keeps audiences breathlessly anticipating a new bon mot or a fresh twist of plot moment to moment. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
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About the author

Flamboyant man-about-town, Oscar Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. He was born to a middle-class Irish family (his father was a surgeon) and was trained as a scholarship boy at Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Pater, whose aestheticism was taken to its radical extreme in Wilde's work. By 1879 he was already known as a wit and a dandy; soon after, in fact, he was satirized in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. Largely on the strength of his public persona, Wilde undertook a lecture tour to the United States in 1882, where he saw his play Vera open---unsuccessfully---in New York. His first published volume, Poems, which met with some degree of approbation, appeared at this time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of an Irish lawyer, and within two years they had two sons. During this period he wrote, among others, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), his only novel, which scandalized many readers and was widely denounced as immoral. Wilde simultaneously dismissed and encouraged such criticism with his statement in the preface, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." In 1891 Wilde published A House of Pomegranates, a collection of fantasy tales, and in 1892 gained commercial and critical success with his play, Lady Windermere's Fan He followed this comedy with A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). During this period he also wrote Salome, in French, but was unable to obtain a license for it in England. Performed in Paris in 1896, the play was translated and published in England in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas and was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. Lord Alfred was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who objected to his son's spending so much time with Wilde because of Wilde's flamboyant behavior and homosexual relationships. In 1895, after being publicly insulted by the marquess, Wilde brought an unsuccessful slander suit against the peer. The result of his inability to prove slander was his own trial on charges of sodomy, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. During his time in prison, he wrote a scathing rebuke to Lord Alfred, published in 1905 as De Profundis. In it he argues that his conduct was a result of his standing "in symbolic relations to the art and culture" of his time. After his release, Wilde left England for Paris, where he wrote what may be his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), drawn from his prison experiences. Among his other notable writing is The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891), which argues for individualism and freedom of artistic expression. There has been a revived interest in Wilde's work; among the best recent volumes are Richard Ellmann's, Oscar Wilde and Regenia Gagnier's Idylls of the Marketplace , two works that vary widely in their critical assumptions and approach to Wilde but that offer rich insights into his complex character.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Courier Corporation
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Published on
Feb 29, 2012
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Pages
64
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ISBN
9780486110189
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
History / Europe / Ireland
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Oscar Wilde
Enhanced ebook edition of The Importance of Being Earnest featuring a full cast audio performance of the play, starring James Marsters as Jack.

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, “that name which inspires absolute confidence.” Wilde’s effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

The ebook also features an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA and Chair of the Department of Theater.

By merging text and audio, this is a perfect learning tool for enhancing comprehension and enjoyment. The text includes plot summaries of each scene, and it is highly recommended as a study aid for students, teachers, actors and directors. Widely read in high school and college, The Importance of Being Earnest is a text exemplar of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

Includes scene-by-scene and word-for-word text and audio of L.A. Theatre Works’ full cast performance starring:
James Marsters as Jack
Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell
Emily Bergl as Cecily
Neil Dickson as Lane and Merriman
Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism
Christopher Neame as Chasuble
Matthew Wolf as Algernon
Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen.

Directed by Michael Hackett for L.A. Theatre Works.

Lead funding for this production, and its presentation as an enhanced ebook, is generously provided by The Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
 * With more than 300 original illustrations and facsimiles.

* With numerous introductions by Robert Ross.

* With all the plays, fiction and non fiction work.

* With a very interesting and fairly large letters section.

* With a complete collection of biographies and memories about Oscar Wilde (by Frank Harris, Robert Sherard, Lord Alfred Douglas).

* Table of contents to every chapters in the book. 

* -Complete and formatted for kindle to improve your reading experience.


CONTENTS

PLAYS

Vera; or, the Nihilists (1880)

The Duchess of Padua (1883)

Salomé (French) (1892)

Salomé (Translation by Lord A. Douglas) (1893)

Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892)

A Woman of no Importance (1893)

An Ideal Husband (1894)

The Importance of Being Earnest (1894)

For love of the King (1894)

Unfinished Plays


NOVEL

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890, Serialised Version)


SHORT-STORIES

Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories (1891)

Lord Arthur’s Savile Crime (1887)

The Canterville Ghost (1887)

The Sphinx without a Secret (1887)

The Model Millionnaire (1887)

The Happy Prince and Other Tale (1888)

The Happy Prince

The Nightingale and the Rose

The Selfish Giant

The Devoted Friend

The Remarkable Rocket

The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)

A House of Pomegranates (1891)

The Young King (1888)

The Birthday of the Infanta (1889)

The Fisherman and his soul

The Star-Child


POEMS

Ravenna (1878)

Poems (1881)

Uncollected Poems (1876-93)

Translations (1875-80)

The Sphinx (1883)

The Ballad of the Reading Geol (1898)


PROSE NON FICTION

Poems in Prose (1893)

Intentions (1889-91)

The Soul of Man (1891)

De Profundis (1897)

Reviews (1885-90)

Miscellanies (1877-94)


LETTERS 


BIOGRAPHIES

The Trial of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, his Life and Confessions vol. I. I, by F. Harris

Oscar Wilde, his Life and Confessions vol. II. I, by F. Harris

The Life of Oscar Wilde, by R. H. Sherard

The Real Oscar Wilde, by R. H. Sherard


MEMORIES

The Story of an Unhappy Friendship, by R. H. Sherard

Oscar Wilde and Myself, by Lord A. Douglas

Some Fragments and Memories, by various people


CRITICS

Art and Morality

Oscar Wilde, A critical Study, by A. Ransome

Oscar Wilde, by L. C. Ingleby


Oscar Wilde
This Complete Works of Oscar Wilde is a truly complete and authoritative single-volume edition of Oscar Wilde’s works. It contains his only novel, 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray', as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters, all in their most authoritative texts. For easier navigation, there are tables of contents for each section and one for the whole volume.

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

Poetry :

1. The Ballad of Reading Gaol

2. Collection of Poems

3. Miscellaneous Poems

4. Poems in Prose

5. Ravenna

6. The Sphinx

Essays :

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

Plays :

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

9. Salomé

10. Vera, or the Nihilists

Non-Fiction :

A Critic in Pall Mall


(The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde, 9788180320200)

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