About the Book
'A Trivial Comedy for Serious People': its subtitle is the best summary of a play that isthe theatrical equivalent of a butterfly. The verbal brilliance of its highly self-consciouscharacters hides deep anxieties about social and personal identity: Jack Worthing,found as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station and named after a railway ticket, isprepared to be re-christened to obtain the Christian name - Earnest - his belovedGwendolen requires in a husband; he then has to confront the stigma of being theillegitimate child of a servant, before fortune, and a benevolent dramatist, reveal his trueand entirely respectable identity. This is the only one-volume edition of the play toinclude an appendix with earlier versions and additional scenes that allow anappreciation of Wilde's creative process.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1856. In the years following his graduation fromOxford in 1878 he published poems and stories which included The Picture of DorianGray. Lady Windermere's Fan was produced in 1892, A Woman of No Importance in1893 and An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895. Later workincluded De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He died in 1900.