The Importance of Being Earnest
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The Importance of Being Earnest

4.16 (235,910 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'A Trivial Comedy for Serious People': its subtitle is the best summary of a play that is the theatrical equivalent of a butterfly. The verbal brilliance of its highly self-conscious characters hides deep anxieties about social and personal identity: Jack Worthing, found as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station and named after a railway ticket, is prepared to be re-christened to obtain the Christian name - Earnest - his beloved Gwendolen requires in a husband; he then has to confront the stigma of being the illegitimate child of a servant, before fortune, and a benevolent dramatist, reveal his true and entirely respectable identity. This is the only one-volume edition of the play to include an appendix with earlier versions and additional scenes that allow an appreciation of Wilde's creative process.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 12mm | 58.97g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • METHUEN DRAMA
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • c 5 photographs/line drawings
  • 071363040X
  • 9780713630404
  • 248,310

About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1856. In the years following his graduation from Oxford in 1878 he published poems and stories which included The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lady Windermere's Fan was produced in 1892, A Woman of No Importance in 1893 and An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895. Later work included De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He died in 1900.show more

Review quote

'Oscar Wilde's Victorian comedy of manners can still seem thrillingly contemporary - the sharp repartee and delicious skeweing of hypocrisy and pomposity can still make you laugh out loud.' Siobhan Murphy, Metro (London), 10.7.09 'The Importance of Being Earnest' is the most perfect high comedy in the English language.' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 10.7.09 'a revelation of inter-personal social engineering that keeps things firmly in the family in a gloriously superficial piece of serious fun.' Neil Cooper, Herald, 25.10.10 'A treasure trove of delicious aphorisms and quotable epigrams' Robert Dawson Scott, The Times, 27.10.10 'Wilde's 1895 masterpiece is a magnificent piece of theatre' Joyce McMillan, Scotsman, 29.10.10 'a biting satire wrapped in a romantic comedy' Mark Brown, Sunday Herald, 31.10.10 'Wilde's tale of love, snobbery, misunderstandings and unlikely coincidences' Mark Brown, Sunday Herald, 31.10.10 'Oscar Wilde's most celebrated comedy' Allan Radcliffe, List, 4.11.10show more

Review Text

Wilde's most popular play is considered his wittiest and finest comedy. The play's subtitle, "A...show more

Rating details

235,910 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 43% (100,352)
4 37% (86,754)
3 17% (39,047)
2 3% (7,562)
1 1% (2,195)
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