The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde offers an essential introduction to one of the theatre's most important and enigmatic writers. Although a general overview, the volume also offers some of the latest thinking on the dramatist and his impact on the twentieth century. Part One places Wilde's work within the cultural and historical context of his time and includes an opening essay by Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland. Further chapters also examine Wilde and the Victorians and his image as a Dandy. Part Two looks at Wilde's essential work as playwright and general writer, including his poetry, critiques, and fiction, and provides detailed analysis of such key works as Salome and The Importance of Being Earnest among others. The third group of essays examines the themes and factors which shaped Wilde's work and includes Wilde and his view of the Victorian woman, Wilde's sexual identities, and interpreting Wilde on stage. This 1997 volume also contains a detailed chronology of Wilde's work, a guide to further reading, and illustrations from important productions.
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List of illustrations and acknowledgements; Notes on contributors; Preface; Chronology; Part I. Context: 1. Biography and the art of lying Merlin Holland; 2. Wilde and the Victorians Regenia Gagnier; 3. Wilde and the Dandyism of the senses Stephen Calloway; Part II. Wilde's Work: 4. Wilde as poet Karl Beckson and Bobby Fong; 5. Wilde the journalist John Stokes; 6. Wilde as critic and theorist Lawrence Danson; 7. Wilde's fiction(s) Jerusha McCormack; 8. Distance, death, and desire in Salome Joseph Donahue; 9. Wilde's comedies of society Peter Raby; 10. The Importance of Being Earnest Russell Jackson; Part III. Themes and Influences: 11. A verdict of death: Oscar Wilde, actresses, and Victorian women Kerry Powell; 12. 'A Complex, Multiform Creature' - Wilde's sexual identities Joseph Bristow; 13. Wilde's plays: some lines of influence Richard Allen Cave; 14. Wilde on stage Joel Kaplan; 15. Oscar Wilde: the resurgence of lying Declan Kiberd; Bibliography; Index.