'It would be unfair to expect other people to be as remarkable as oneself'
Wilde's celebrated witticisms on the dangers of sincerity, duplicitous biographers, the stupidity of the English - and his own genius.
One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
'He was not blind to the fact that murder, like the religions of the Pagan world, requires a victim as well as a priest...'
Wilde's supremely witty tale of dandies, anarchists and a murderous prophecy in London high society.
Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Wilde's works available in Penguin Classics are De Profundis and Other Prison Writings, The Complete Short Fiction, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Selected Critical Prose.
De Profundis and Other Prison Writings is a new selection of Oscar Wilde's prison letters and poetry in Penguin Classics, edited and introduced by Colm Tóibín.
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.
The Penguin English Library Edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
'I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me ... Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day - mock me horribly!'
A story of evil, debauchery and scandal, Oscar Wilde's only novel tells of Dorian Gray, a beautiful yet corrupt man. When he wishes that a perfect portrait of himself would bear the signs of ageing in his place, the picture becomes his hideous secret, as it follows Dorian's own downward spiral into cruelty and depravity. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a masterpiece of the evil in men's hearts, and is as controversial and alluring as Wilde himself.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY IRVINE WELSH
Dorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story...
Selection includes The Portrait of Mr W.H., Wilde's defence of Dorian Gray, reviews, and the writings from 'Intentions' (1891): 'The Decay of Lying, 'Pen, Pencil, Poison', and 'The Critic as Artist'.
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.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. He later lived in London and married Constance Lloyd there in 1884. Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890. He published a revised and expanded edition in 1891 in response to negative reviews which criticised the book’s immorality. Wilde became famous through of the immense success of his plays such as Lady Windemere's Fan (1892), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
In 1985, 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 based on his experiences in prison and was published in 1898. After his release, Wilde never lived in England again and died in Paris on 30 November 1900. He is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery.