The Picture of Dorian Gray

ISBN : 9780199535989

Oscar Wilde; Joseph Bristow
272 Pages
130 x 195 mm
Pub date
Apr 2008
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A new edition that draws on the scholarship of the Oxford English Texts edition for both text and editorial apparatus.
  • Reproduces the critically established 1891 text from the OET edition.
  • Joseph Bristow's introduction draws on the wealth of scholarship of the last 15 years to provide the most up-to-date exploration of the novel's composition, Wilde's revisions for the 1891 edition, critical approaches, and the reputation of the novel since publication.
  • Textual notes will show important variants.
  • Full explanatory notes identify Wilde's sources.
  • Up-to-date bibliography.

New to this Edition:

  • The text is derived from the OET edition, which prints a critically established version of the 1891 first book edition.
  • New, fuller introduction drawing on the OET edition which considers the important differences between the 1890 and 1891 texts, Wilde's range of sources, significant critical approaches to the novel and its reputation since 1891.
  • Textual notes including important variants.
  • New explanatory notes.
  • New Bibliography.

'The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.'
When Dorian Gray has his portrait painted, he is captivated by his own beauty. Tempted by his world-weary, decadent friend Lord Henry Wotton, he wishes to stay forever young, and pledges his very soul to keep his good looks. Set in fin-de-siécle London, the novel traces a path from the studio of painter Basil Hallward to the opium dens of the East End. As Dorian's slide into crime and cruelty progresses he stays magically youthful, while his beautiful portrait changes, revealing the hideous corruption of moral decay.
Ever since its first publication in 1890 Wilde's only novel has remained the subject of critical controversy. Acclaimed by some as an instructive moral tale, it has been denounced by others for its implicit immorality. Combining elements of the supernatural, aestheticism, and the Gothic, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an unclassifiable and uniquely unsettling work of fiction. 


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Oscar Wilde


Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Oscar Wilde
Edited by Joseph Bristow, Professor of English, UCLA
Joseph Bristow is editor of the Oxford English Texts edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry and Olive Schreiner's African Farm for OWC. He is the author of The Fin-de-Siecle Poem: English Culture and the 1890s (Ohio UP, 2005).

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