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Staged in 1893, when Wilde had already achieved fame, wealth and
notoriety, A Woman of No Importance was another attempt to fuse comedy
of manners with high melodrama. Gerald Arbuthnot is a young man on the
make, with an American heiress and the post of secretary to the
brilliant but dissolute Lord Illingworth within his reach. When he asks
his mother to celebrate with them, it turns out that Illingworth is
Gerald's father, who seduced and abandoned his mother twenty years
earlier. Loyalty weighs heavier than ambition, and Gerald declines the
association with Illingworth. This edition, which also analyses Wilde's
various drafts and revisions of the play, argues that the playwright
here continued to explore the rivalry between an older man and woman
for the affection of a beautiful young man.
Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 7.79h x 5.25w x 0.51d
About the Author
Wilde, Oscar: - "Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (b. Dublin, 1854) was an Irish playwright, who wrote one of the best loved comedies in the English language - The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). A leading wit and conversationalist in London society, his career was destroyed at its height when he was imprisoned for homosexual offences. Wilde was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Settling in London, he became famous for his extravagant dress, long hair, and paradoxical views on art, literature, and morality. His first play, Vera (1880), a tragedy about Russian nihilists, was produced in New York to poor reviews. Success in the theatre came with the elegant drawing-room comedy Lady Windermere's Fan. A Woman of No Importance (1893) was another success. Other works for the theatre were An Ideal Husband (1895) and the biblical Salomé (1896), written in French for Sarah Bernhardt. Wilde flaunted his homosexual affairs, including his ill-fated liaison with Lord Alfred Douglas. Following a celebrated trial in 1895 he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour. The sentence led to public humiliation, poor health, and bankruptcy. On his release in 1897 he left for France and remained in exile there until his death in 1900."
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