Cover image for Lady Windermere's fan
Lady Windermere's fan
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Studio City, CA : Players Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
56 pages ; 22 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR5818 .L2 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PR5818 .L2 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Joins top-selling Wilde titles, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Author Notes

Flamboyant man-about-town, Oscar Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. He was born to a middle-class Irish family (his father was a surgeon) and was trained as a scholarship boy at Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Pater, whose aestheticism was taken to its radical extreme in Wilde's work. By 1879 he was already known as a wit and a dandy; soon after, in fact, he was satirized in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience.

Largely on the strength of his public persona, Wilde undertook a lecture tour to the United States in 1882, where he saw his play Vera open---unsuccessfully---in New York. His first published volume, Poems, which met with some degree of approbation, appeared at this time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of an Irish lawyer, and within two years they had two sons. During this period he wrote, among others, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), his only novel, which scandalized many readers and was widely denounced as immoral. Wilde simultaneously dismissed and encouraged such criticism with his statement in the preface, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all."

In 1891 Wilde published A House of Pomegranates, a collection of fantasy tales, and in 1892 gained commercial and critical success with his play, Lady Windermere's Fan He followed this comedy with A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). During this period he also wrote Salome, in French, but was unable to obtain a license for it in England. Performed in Paris in 1896, the play was translated and published in England in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas and was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.

Lord Alfred was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who objected to his son's spending so much time with Wilde because of Wilde's flamboyant behavior and homosexual relationships. In 1895, after being publicly insulted by the marquess, Wilde brought an unsuccessful slander suit against the peer. The result of his inability to prove slander was his own trial on charges of sodomy, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. During his time in prison, he wrote a scathing rebuke to Lord Alfred, published in 1905 as De Profundis. In it he argues that his conduct was a result of his standing "in symbolic relations to the art and culture" of his time. After his release, Wilde left England for Paris, where he wrote what may be his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), drawn from his prison experiences. Among his other notable writing is The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891), which argues for individualism and freedom of artistic expression.

There has been a revived interest in Wilde's work; among the best recent volumes are Richard Ellmann's, Oscar Wilde and Regenia Gagnier's Idylls of the Marketplace , two works that vary widely in their critical assumptions and approach to Wilde but that offer rich insights into his complex character.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this audio, a capable cast portrays Victorian gentry in the London of 1892 with sly humor and skill. Laughter from the audience (nicely subdued by the sound engineer) greets Wilde's epigrams and delightful nonsense, e.g., "I can resist everything but temptation." A slight plot entails a shady woman's blackmail, suspicions of infidelity, and some melodrama. Purists following Wilde's polished text will miss the Duchess drinking disgusting mineral water to feign illness; Lady Windermere's relief over her husband's innocent checkbook before breaking into his incriminating one; and aphorisms like "nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion" and "Repentance is quite out of date," etc. Still, the producer gives a welcome introduction to a classic. Hearing a comedy of manners done so cleverly, compared to merely reading the script, adds enjoyment. Recommended where audio dramas circulate well.--Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



A lord, his wife, her admirer and an infamous blackmailer converge in the irreverent satire that launched Wilde's succession of classic social comedies. This delicious comic feast serves up a scandal about good girls, bad husbands and hilarious hypocrisy - utterly contemporary and divinely funny. DIRECTED BY MICHAEL HACKETT EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SUSAN ALBERT LOEWENBERG STARRING (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER) GINA FIELD Lady Carlisle JUDY GEESON Lady Plymdale JOANNA GOING Lady Windermere ARTHUR HANKET Mr. Graham LISA HARROW Mrs. Erlynne DOMINIC KEATING Mr. Hopper MIRIAM MARGOLYES Duchess of Berwick ROGER REES Lord Windermere ERIC STOLTZ Lord Darlington JAMES WARWICK Lord Lorton TOM WHEATLEY Parker L.A. Theatre Works, founded in 1974, produces the world's finest audio theatre. Our catalogue features the largest collection of classic and contemporary plays, recorded in state-of-the-art sound quality, starring today's most popular and acclaimed actors. To receive a free catalogue from L.A. Theatre Works e-mail: or visit: Excerpted from Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Act I
Act II
Act IV