Lady Windermere's Fan: By Oscar Wilde

Front Cover
MobileReference.com, 2008 - Electronic books - 70 pages
35 Reviews
Lady Windermere''s Fan: A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde''s comedies, it is a biting satire on the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage. The story concerns Lady Windermere who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to her birthday ball. Angered by her husband''s unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. She sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save Lady Windermere''s marriage. Numerous characters in the play draw their names from places in the north of England: Lady Windermere from the lake Windermere, the Duchess of Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lord Darlington from Darlington. The play''s Broadway premi re on February 5, 1893 at Palmer''s Theatre was also the first Broadway performance for stage and screen actress Julia Arthur, who played Lady Windermere. OCo Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Intuitive navigation. . Text annotation and mark-up. . Humanities: Rhetoric and Composition, Philosophy, Psychology, Greek and Roman Mythology."

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
16
4 stars
5
3 stars
14
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AliceAnna - LibraryThing

A condemnation of the inconstancy of the human heart. Naturally, all's well that ends well, but there is a bitterness in this play that emphasizes the cruelty inherent in believing the worst of others. Read full review

Review: Lady Windermere's Fan

User Review  - Miss GP - Goodreads

Many years ago I saw a production of The Importance of Being Ernest on PBS. In spite of seeing the play many times in movie theaters (how could a movie with Colin Firth & Rupert Everett be so bad ... Read full review

All 12 reviews »

About the author (2008)

Flamboyant man-about-town, Oscar Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. He was born to a middle-class Irish family (his father was a surgeon) and was trained as a scholarship boy at Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Pater, whose aestheticism was taken to its radical extreme in Wilde's work. By 1879 he was already known as a wit and a dandy; soon after, in fact, he was satirized in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. Largely on the strength of his public persona, Wilde undertook a lecture tour to the United States in 1882, where he saw his play Vera open---unsuccessfully---in New York. His first published volume, Poems, which met with some degree of approbation, appeared at this time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of an Irish lawyer, and within two years they had two sons. During this period he wrote, among others, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), his only novel, which scandalized many readers and was widely denounced as immoral. Wilde simultaneously dismissed and encouraged such criticism with his statement in the preface, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." In 1891 Wilde published A House of Pomegranates, a collection of fantasy tales, and in 1892 gained commercial and critical success with his play, Lady Windermere's Fan He followed this comedy with A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). During this period he also wrote Salome, in French, but was unable to obtain a license for it in England. Performed in Paris in 1896, the play was translated and published in England in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas and was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. Lord Alfred was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who objected to his son's spending so much time with Wilde because of Wilde's flamboyant behavior and homosexual relationships. In 1895, after being publicly insulted by the marquess, Wilde brought an unsuccessful slander suit against the peer. The result of his inability to prove slander was his own trial on charges of sodomy, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. During his time in prison, he wrote a scathing rebuke to Lord Alfred, published in 1905 as De Profundis. In it he argues that his conduct was a result of his standing "in symbolic relations to the art and culture" of his time. After his release, Wilde left England for Paris, where he wrote what may be his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), drawn from his prison experiences. Among his other notable writing is The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891), which argues for individualism and freedom of artistic expression. There has been a revived interest in Wilde's work; among the best recent volumes are Richard Ellmann's, Oscar Wilde and Regenia Gagnier's Idylls of the Marketplace , two works that vary widely in their critical assumptions and approach to Wilde but that offer rich insights into his complex character.

Bibliographic information