The Importance of Being Earnest shows a full measure of Oscar Wilde's legendary wit, and embodies more than any of his other plays, his decency and warmth. This edition contains substantial excerpts from the original four-act version which was never produed, as well as the full test of the final three-act version, selections from Wilde's correspondence, and commentary by George Bernard Shaw, Max Beerbohm, St. John Hankin, and James Agate.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was a Victorian-era British author and playwright. In his youth, Wilde became attached to the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized the appreciation of the aesthetic value of cultural creations above social or political purposes, and this philosophy influenced his work throughout his career. The themes of art and beauty are particularly present in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, , and in his two most popular dramatic works, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. A quarrel with the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred, resulted in Wilde's arrest and imprisonment for gross indecency. Wilde died in 1900, penniless and in exile, as a result of cerebral meningitis contracted while in prison.