Wednesday, 4 January 2012

HELLO A Classics Challenge

Oscar Wilde 16th Oct 1854-30th Nov 1900

My first classic read is  The Importance of Being Earnest, written by Oscar (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills) Wilde in 1895.

Oscar Wilde, the writer and poet, was born in Dublin, Ireland. Some of his works include: The Picture of Dorian Gray, in 1891 (his only novel), A Woman of No Importance 1893 and An Ideal Husband 1895.

The Importance of Being Earnest is one of his many comedies that he was known for. This play involved 'bunburying' -adopting an alternate persona for town and country, to escape from social customs. It was written in late-Victorian period and clearly represents and mocks this era. It was enjoyable to read all the niceties of genteel life knocked sideways by word and action. 

We all know the famous 'A handbag' quote, but I liked this one: 'To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.'

George Bernard Shaw, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde viewed The Importance of Being Earnest as 'rib-tickling' but 'lacking in humanity.'

In 1895,Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for 2 years for gross indecency. 

He died in Paris, France, in 1900, from cerebral meningitis.

On a lighter note. Let's not forget that he was involved in the aestheticism movement, a branch of philosophy that critically reflected art, culture and nature. I can now end with an appropriate epigram of Oscar Wilde: 'Art for art's sake.'


  1. What a great reading challenge! Can't wait to see what's next on the list! Take care

  2. I always want to shake him and tell him to get out of England while he still can.
    The Importance of Being Earnest is my favourite play of Wilde's, so hilarious.

  3. I've heard many great things about his wit and have seen The Importance of Being Ernest and An Ideal Husband, both of which display his particular flair. Haven't read his works yet though.
    I didn't know he died of meningitis.

    Thank you for your post, Debbie! :)

  4. Thank you all for your comments.

    I'm enjoying the Challenge.

  5. A great choice to start the Challenge. Oscar Wilde is so wickedly humorous.

  6. I picked Oscar Wilde too, I am reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. So far I am enjoying it. Great post!

  7. Having read 'Earnest,' I can tell you, I will be reading all his other works.

  8. Love Oscar Wilde. Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windmere's Fan are favorites.

  9. I saw the play many years ago (mid eighties!) and really enjoyed it, not sure I'd actually want to read it though.