Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Generally regarded as Wilde’s finest play,The Importance of Being Ernest has proved perennially popular with audiences and provided a rich seam for critics concerned with various aspects of Wilde’s life and aesthetic philosophy. His friendship with Sir Alfred Douglas, whom he met in 1891, resulted in an increasingly lavish lifestyle that left him constantly short of money. In 1894, the playwright sent an outline of a new comedy to George Alexander, who had successfully staged Lady Windermere’s Fan at St James’s Theatre in 1892, requesting a fee of £150 and undertaking to have the proposed work completed by October (Holland and Hart-Davis, 2000: 595-7). The outline contains the seeds of the three-act play as it was …

2539 words

Citation: Markey, Anne. "The Importance of Being Earnest". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 July 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=565, accessed 25 September 2023.]

565 The Importance of Being Earnest 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.