Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Ward Lock & Co. – 1891


Synopsis
A perfect portrayal of the fin-de-siècle decay, this work highlights the tension between the polished surface and the murky depths of Victorian’s high society, as it combines the beauty and youth of an arrogant young man, who sees his soul perish in a portrait of himself, indulging in a life of debauchery and crime.


Biography
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. The Picture of Dorian Gray is his only novel. He published several short stories and was quite successful as a playwriter, notably with Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Play About a Good Woman, with all his plays making it to the big stage between 1892 and 1895 in London. Involved in a scandal related to his homosexuality, Wilde is sentenced, in 1895, to two years in prison for sodomy. After serving his sentence, he would leave for France, where he would eventually die in 1900, in almost total abandonment, victim of meningitis.
 

FunFacts
OSCAR WILDE ON THE COVER OF THE BEATLES
John Lennon often called Wilde one of his biggest poetic role models and, in fact, Wilde even made it to the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts.

WILDE'S LAST WORDS
Oscar Wilde’s last words were “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

OSCAR WILDE WAS IMPRISONED
Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for his sexuality. At the age of forty-five, he faced a trial for sodomy, accused by the father of his lover, Sir Alfred Douglas. After attempting to sue John Douglas for libel, Wilde was convicted of sodomy on the 25th of May 1895.

LABOUCHERE AMENDMENT
Wilde was the first famous case involving the Labouchere Amendment – part of the law which made homosexual acts illegal and punishable by up to two years hard labor.

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