Oscar Wilde: A Woman of No Importance

(2332 words)
  • Anne Markey (Dublin City University)

Following the successful opening run of Lady Windermere’s Fan in the St James’s Theatre, London, in 1892, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, actor-manager at the rival Haymarket Theatre, asked Oscar Wilde to provide him with a similar modern society comedy. That summer, while staying in Norfolk with Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde was engaged in writing a piece with the working title “Mrs Arbuthnot”. In September 1892 he reported that the play was nearly finished, and, on 13 October, he assigned the rights of the completed play, now entitled A Woman of No Importance, to Tree, specifying in detail the financial terms of their agreement (Holland and Hart-Davis, eds., 2000, pp. 535, 536). Rehearsals began the following March, and the p…

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Markey, Anne. "A Woman of No Importance". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6908, accessed 01 October 2016.]