Oscar Wilde

Son of an Irish ear and eye doctor and a flamboyant nationalistic poet, Oscar Wilde is best known for his deliciously giddy plays "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "An Ideal Husband". His other works, including the horror classic The Picture of Dorian Gray, the lush, exotic "Salome", and assorted fairy tales, also display Wilde's talents but are frequently overshadowed by the scandals that plagued his personal life. (Wilde was convicted of sodomy, spent a few years in prison, and died an impoverished exile in France.) A man with a staggering genius for language, Wilde's novels and plays are among the finest examples of 19th century wit.

Note: "Salome", which was dedicated to and translated by Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, is particularly hot stuff. Be sure to check out the book's illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, who profoundly disliked both the book and its author.

Note #2: Wilde's father wrote some the earliest medical textbooks for ear and eye surgery. Surgeons still refer to "Wilde's incision".

Note #3: George Bernard Shaw (that rascal!) once "diagnosed" Wilde's homosexuality. He announced--without a shred of evidence--that it was clearly the result of Wilde's mother's height and the bulkiness of her, um, lumbar region. The more I read about Shaw, the more I think he deserved what Roald Dahl did to him in My Uncle Oswald.


Everywhere, and in Dover Thrift editions!

(Availability Note: While we here at Wordcandy always encourage you to buy books (in fact, buy them through us! We're a very worthy cause!) we understand that sometimes, alas, one is flat broke. If that's the case, you can read copies of some or all of this author's books at this fine site for FREE.)

Other Recommendations:
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
Posted by: Julia


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