Best Plays (Hardback)

by Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Ned Halley

Format: Hardback 440 pages

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Between 1891 and 1895 Oscar Wilde produced a sequence of distinctive plays which spearheaded the dramatic renaissance of the 1890s, and retain their power today. The social comedies, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband offer a moving as well as witty dissection of society and its morals, with a sharp focus on sexual politics. By contrast, the experimental, symbolist Salome, written originally in French, was banned for public performance by the English censor. Wilde's final dramatic triumph was his 'trivial' comedy for serious people, The Importance of Being Earnest, probably the greatest farcical comedy in English. Aubrey Beardsley, the illustrator of Salome, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. His contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles was significant.

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