The Picture of Dorian Gray.pdf

The Picture of Dorian Gray.pdf


This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Publisher Comment
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.

From Library Journal
This Broadview edition includes Wilde's full text along with an introduction, a chronology of Wilde's life, and several appendixes. All that for $9.95 makes this a steal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From AudioFile
This remarkable rendering perfectly captures the spirit and characters of the chilling melodrama that scandalized polite society when first published in 1890. Enthralled with his own physical beauty, Dorian Gray wishes his portrait to grow old while he himself stays young, and Wilde makes it so. Just as the portrait mirrors the ravages of Gray's soul, Petherbridge's narration exudes decadence, hedonism and destruction--every syllable foreshadowing the protagonist's dismal end. The narrator's storytelling and narrative skill are exemplary. R.B.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Booklist
Gr. 6-12. For teens who find even steadily paced novels a struggle, the biting but often meandering discussions between Basil and Lord Henry in Wilde's classic can seem overwhelming and pointless. But this version's informative sidebars make the surreal tale of the beautiful young man who never ages one that teens can not only tackle but also begin to relish. When the story advances or twists, Tony Ross' colorful artwork emphasizes Wilde's absurdly witty take on Victorian provincialism. For scenes in which characters discuss aesthetics, sidebar illustrations with helpful captions explain how Wilde's philosophies influenced his characterizations. Even when the sidebars only remotely relate to the story, they provide a clear cultural outline of the mores that resulted in Wilde's public undoing and his untimely death. The supplemental information and illustrations may strike sharp YA readers as amusing or interesting, but they may be the sole reason weaker readers tackle the novel at all. Roger Leslie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

William A. Cohen, University of Maryland
The edition is especially appropriate for undergraduate students, on whom the scandalousness of Wilde’s story might be lost... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Andrew Elfenbein is the Morse-Alumni Distinguish Teaching Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He works on 18th- and 19th-century British literature, gender and sexuality studies, the history of English, and cognitive approaches to reading.

List of Illustrations About Longman Cultural Editions About This Edition Introduction Table of Dates The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) Contexts Textual Issues The Two Versions of The Picture of Dorian Gray from Chapter 1 (1890, 1891) from Chapter 7 (1890) and Chapter 9 (1891) from Chapter 10 (1890) and Chapter 12 (1891) from Chapter 13 (1890) and Chapter 20 (1891) Chapter 11: Further Annotations Victorian Reactions to The Picture of Dorian Gray Reviews Ward, Lock, and Co., Lippincott's Advertisement for The Picture of Dorian Gray Samuel Henry Jeyes, St. James's Gazette and Wilde's responses Walter Pater, The Bookman Paradies Robert Smythe Hichens, from The Green Carnation George Slythe Street, from The Autobiography of a Boy Wilde's Trials from Regina (Oscar Wilde) vs. John Douglas (Marquess of Queensberry) Aestheticism Walter Pater, "Conclusion" to The Renaissance Mathew Arnold, from Culture and Anarchy Oscar Wilde, from The Decay of Lying Joris-Karl Huysmans, from A Rebours (Against the Grain) Science Charles Darwin, from The Descent of Man William Kingdon Clifford, from "Right and Wrong: The Scientific Ground of their Distinction" Thomas Henry Huxley, from "Science and Culture" Henry Maudsley, from The Physiology and Pathology of the Mind Love between Men John Addington Symonds, from "A Problem in Greek Ethics" Richard St. John Tyrwhitt, from "The Greek Spirit in Modern Literature" Havelock Ellis, from Sexual Inversion Works Cited in the Notes Further Reading

From Camille Cauti's Introduction to The Picture of Dorian Gray
Perhaps the most salient episode of Wilde's life involved his three infamous court trials in spring 1895. They captivated the London press, much of which was only too happy to see Wilde, of whom it had long been jealously suspicious, debased and finally punished for his alleged crimes and for daring to live outside Victorian social convention. The first trial, in early April 1895, involved the author's libel suit against his lover Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensbury (before the trials, he was most famous for formulating the Queensbury rules of boxing). Angry over Wilde's alleged influence upon his son, Queensbury accused Wilde in a note of being a "posing somdomite" (sic). Queensbury's defense attorney even presented The Picture of Dorian Gray as an immoral, perverted book and as one of the fifteen pleas for justification of his client's claim (although the justice at Wilde's next trial chose not to rule Dorian Gray as evidence of Wilde's crimes). Thus the novel took on yet another role: involuntary accomplice to Wilde's accuser. The libel suit was not resolved in Wilde's favor, and during the proceedings Queensbury's defense provided enough potential evidence of homosexuality to have Wilde tried under the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Friends and associates urged Wilde to flee the country, as other homosexuals on the verge of being outed had done, but whether from stubbornness of his position or in denial of his vulnerability, he remained in London and was arrested on April 5, 1895.

After two trials on charges of "committing acts of gross indecency with male persons," Wilde ultimately was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum penalty of two years in prison with hard labor. He gave eloquent testimony on the stand to the legitimacy of, as he called it, "the love that dare not speak its name," which in large part drives The Picture of Dorian Gray. Among many other definitions, Wilde declared it "that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michaelangelo. . . . It is the noblest form of affection." His words were rewarded, really too late, with spontaneous courtroom applause. Yet the press exulted in Wilde's demise: "The aesthetic cult," the News of the World proclaimed, "in its nasty form, is over."

The details of Wilde's final five years, spent in prison and in lonely exile, are tragic. The prison labor, which at first primarily involved operating a treadmill for the equivalent of a daily 6,000-foot ascent, physically broke Wilde. His creditors and Queensbury had forced a bankruptcy sale of his property, and his valuable, carefully collected possessions were sold and disbursed. His wife, who had sought a divorce, died in 1898. He would never again see his sons. From prison, Wilde composed, in the form of a letter to Douglas, his apologia De Profundis (posthumously published in 1905), whose Latin title means "Out of the Depths," and which takes its name and religious tenor from Psalm 130, which reads, in part: "If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." The probing, deeply religious nature of this last work still did not bring about Wilde's Catholic conversion, however. (Douglas would convert in 1911.) Unlike John Gray, Wilde could not bring himself to use religion as a refuge from his earthly problems. Wilde's conversion instead took place within the last two days of his life, when desperate friends, the Catholic Robbie Ross among them, who had long thought Wilde insincere when he mentioned his desire to convert, brought in a local priest to gauge Wilde's assent to the conversion and to administer Last Rites.

Appropriately, Wilde's last act was an assent to a final ritual-in this case, one that symbolically sealed the senses that had dictated his life-long self-creation. Wilde's only novel, over the years many things to many people, continues to serve as a symbol of its era. After experiencing it, a reader may want nothing more than to override questions of genre and influence, when The Picture of Dorian Gray itself tells us what it has been: "the type of what the age is searching for, and what it is afraid it has found."

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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