Cover image for The importance of being earnest : a trivial comedy for serious people: the graphic novel
Title:
The importance of being earnest : a trivial comedy for serious people: the graphic novel
Author:
Stokes, John.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First US edition, original text version.
Publication Information:
Birmingham, United Kingdom : Classical Comics Ltd., 2014.

©2014
Physical Description:
133 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 25 cm.
Summary:
In this Oscar Wilde's entire three-act play presented as a full color graphic novel, two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use imaginary friends to inject some excitement into their seemingly dull lives. Jack Worthing invents a brother, "Ernest, " whom he pretends to be in order to visit his beloved Gwendolen in the city. Meanwhile, friend Algy Moncrieff uses the name "Ernest" while visiting Jack's beautiful young ward, Cecily in the country. Much confusion ensues as the two women find out they have been deceived by their "Ernests." Some would call this a society comedy; others, a Victorian farce. Regardless of the term used, this full color graphic novel captures the era effortlessly. With an intricate attention to detail, wonderful characterization and dramatically expressive and humorous artwork, this really is a graphic novel to cherish.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781907127311
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In this Oscar Wilde's entire three-act play presented as a full color graphic novel, two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use imaginary friends to inject some excitement into their seemingly dull lives. Jack Worthing invents a brother, "Ernest," whom he pretends to be in order to visit his beloved Gwendolen in the city. Meanwhile, friend Algy Moncrieff uses the name "Ernest" while visiting Jack's beautiful young ward, Cecily in the country. Much confusion ensues as the two women find out they have been deceived by their "Ernests." Some would call this a society comedy; others, a Victorian farce. Regardless of the term used, this full color graphic novel captures the era effortlessly. With an intricate attention to detail, wonderful characterization and dramatically expressive and humorous artwork, this really is a graphic novel to cherish.


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)


Excerpts

Excerpts

Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room. [LANE is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, ALGERNON enters.] ALGERNON. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane? LANE. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir. ALGERNON. I'm sorry for that, For your sake. I don't play accurately - any one can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life. Excerpted from The Importance of Being Earnest 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.

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