A renowned eccentric, dandy, and man-about-town, Oscar Wilde was foremost a dazzling wit and dramatic genius whose plays, poems, essays, and fiction contain some of the most frequently quoted quips and passages in the English language.
This volume features a wide selection of Wilde’s literary output, including the comic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest, an immensely popular play filled with satiric epigrams that mercilessly expose Victorian hypocrisy; The Portrait of Mr. W. H., a story proposing that Shakespeare’s sonnets were inspired by the poet’s love for a young man; The House of Pomegranates, the author’s collection of fairy tales; lectures Wilde delivered, first in the United States, where he exhorted his audiences to love beauty and art, and then in England, where he presented his impressions of America; his two major literary-theoretical works, �The Decay of Lying” and �The Critic as Artist”; and a selection of verse, including his great poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, in which Wilde famously declared that �each man kills the thing he loves.”
A testament to Wilde’s incredible versatility, this collection displays his legendary wit, brilliant use of language, and penetrating insight into the human condition.
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