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About the Author: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain, and died in poverty.


The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 4.27

Paperback, Published in Aug 2012 by Belknap Press

ISBN10: 0674066316 | ISBN13: 9780674066311

Page count: 260

More than 120 years after Oscar Wilde submitted "The Picture of Dorian Gray" for publication in "Lippincott's Monthly Magazine," the uncensored version of his novel appears here for the first time in a paperback edition. This volume restores all of the material removed by the novel's first editor.

Upon receipt of the typescript, Wilde's editor panicked at what he saw. Contained within its pages was material he feared readers would find "offensive"--especially instances of graphic homosexual content. He proceeded to go through the typescript with his pencil, cleaning it up until he made it "acceptable to the most fastidious taste." Wilde did not see these changes until his novel appeared in print. Wilde's editor's concern was well placed. Even in its redacted form, the novel caused public outcry. The British press condemned it as "vulgar," "unclean," "poisonous," "discreditable," and "a sham." When Wilde later enlarged the novel for publication in book form, he responded to his critics by further toning down its "immoral" elements.

Wilde famously said that "The Picture of Dorian Gray" "contains much of me" Basil Hallward is "what I think I am," Lord Henry "what the world thinks me," and "Dorian what I would like to be--in other ages, perhaps." Wilde's comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own repressive Victorian era. By implication, Wilde would have preferred we read today the uncensored version of his novel.

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