Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism

Gregory Mackie (University of British Columbia)
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Oscar Wilde's last major work of critical prose, “The Soul of Man under Socialism,” was likely composed late in 1890, after the dialogue “The True Function and Value of Criticism” (later retitled “The Critic as Artist”) and before the 1891 Preface to

The Picture of Dorian Gray

. The essay was first published in the

Fortnightly Review

in February 1891, although it was not collected in Wilde's 1891 volume of critical prose,


. The subsequent publishing history of “The Soul of Man under Socialism” is complex. With the truncated title

The Soul of Man

, it was published as a book on 30 May 1895, five days after Wilde's sentencing to two years' imprisonment with hard labour. Issued by Wilde family friend Arthur L. Humphreys, manager of Hatchards London bookshop,

The Soul

2251 words

Citation: Mackie, Gregory. "The Soul of Man under Socialism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7785, accessed 13 April 2024.]

7785 The Soul of Man under Socialism 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.

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