This image is the cover for the book Importance of Being Earnest

Importance of Being Earnest

The controversial comedic play from a master dramatist that shattered social conventions in England.

Oscar Wilde’s most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners, has delighted millions with countless productions since its first performance at London’s St. James’ Theatre in 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but also for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.

From the play’s effervescent beginnings in Algernon Moncrieff’s London flat to its hilarious denouement in the drawing room of Jack Worthing’s country manor in Hertfordshire, this comic masterpiece keeps audiences breathlessly anticipating new bons mots and fresh plot twists from moment to moment.

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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. Celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic for his wit, he is rumored to have informed a customs agent upon his arrival in America, “I have nothing to declare but my genius.” Wilde’s health and reputation were destroyed by his imprisonment for “gross indecency” in 1895, and he died in poverty a few years after his release. Today, his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and his play, The Importance of Being Earnest, are recognized as masterpieces of English literature.  

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