Online Sources for The Importance of Being Earnest

by Taryn Nakamura

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

Interviews

Brian Bedford Interviewed on The Importance of Being Earnest

Brian Bedford, an English actor playing Lady Bracknell, talks about Oscar Wilde’s sex life, the history behind Wilde’s shortened three-act version, and his own most disappointing role. Bonus: Bedford reveals the spelling mistake in the Marquis of Queensbury’s insulting note to Oscar Wilde.

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Interviews

Brian Bedford Interviewed on The Importance of Being Earnest

Brian Bedford, an English actor playing Lady Bracknell, talks about Oscar Wilde’s sex life, the history behind Wilde’s shortened three-act version, and his own most disappointing role. Bonus: Bedford reveals the spelling mistake in the Marquis of Queensbury’s insulting note to Oscar Wilde.

Excerpt: “Earnest is full of codes. Oscar always threw everything in from his personal life. One of his most interesting letters was Oscar pitching the play—which at the time he called Lady Lancing, whatever the fuck that means—to George Alexander, the original producer of Earnest.

Read more here:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/22/brian-bedford-interview-on-importance-of-being-earnest-by-kevin-sessums.html?cid=sexybeast:featured

Reviews

Oscar Wilde’s ‘Earnest,’ Starring Wendy Hiller

Wendy Hiller plays Lady Bracknell in the 1985 television production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Excerpt: “Miss Hiller speaks flapdoodle so unflappably that it almost seems to make sense.”

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/06/arts/oscar-wilde-s-earnest-starring-wendy-hiller.html

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-rzDkwZIt4

‘Importance of Being Earnest’: Cucumber Sandwiches and Polite Society on a Skewer

In this production of Earnest, Lady Bracknell is more forceful than genteel.

Excerpt: “Ms. Redgrave’s Lady Bracknell is, in short, slightly tinged with vulgarity. (Gasp!) This is indeed a radical departure for a character who is, on paper, genteel to the point of absurdity, if not insanity.”

Read more here: http://theater2.nytimes.com/2006/04/21/theater/reviews/21earn.html

Unoriginal Sin

This review of Dr. Michle Mendelssohn’s book, Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Aesthetic Culture, explains how Oscar Wilde famously copied other authors but still came to be known as an original. The review also contains a list of unforgettable Oscar Wilde quotes.

Excerpt: “The allegation of literary theft is long-standing and one of which Wilde was fully aware. “Of course I plagiarise,” he told Max Beerbohm, the writer and caricaturist. “It is the privilege of the appreciative man.””

Read more here: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/book-reviews/unoriginal_sin_1_695739

Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde by Franny Moyle — review

This review of Constance Wilde’s biography reveals the inner workings of the Wilde family. Miranda Seymour shows us what the Wilde’s marriage looked like before and after Wilde’s affairs.

Excerpt: “Oscar, while addressing his wife as “the great lamp” of a cathedral shrine, made ominous reference – in that same moving dedication of his second collection of children’s stories – to “individual side chapels” dedicated to “other saints”.”

Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/24/constance-mrs-wilde-franny-moyle-review

Pictures

The Importance of Seeing Earnest

This picture slide-show tracks productions of the play through the years. The photographs start with Algernon and Jack in a 1909 performance, and end with Gwendolyn and Cecily in a 2008 performance.

See pictures here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/gallery/2008/feb/01/importanceearnest?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487#/?picture=332343502&index=0

General Information

The Official Website of Oscar Wilde

The website contains an extensive biography on Wilde, pictures, and an archive of memorable quotes.

Read more here: http://www.cmgww.com/historic/wilde/index.php

Death of Oscar Wilde

The New York Times published Oscar Wilde’s obituary in 1900. The writer gives an unsympathetic portrait of Wilde’s life, beginning with the harsh subtitle: “He Expires at an Obscure Hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris.”

Excerpt: “As a dramatist, Wilde was hampered by his utter lack of sincerity and his inability to master the technical side of play-writing. But his wit, his pleasing literary facility, and his droll views of life made some of his plays rather effective with a limited audience.”

Read more here: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D06EED9153DE433A25752C0A9649D946197D6CF

The 10 Most Popular Misconceptions About Oscar Wilde

Merlin Holland tackles popular myths on Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality, school life, relationship with Lord Douglas, and more.

Excerpt: ‘“Earnest’ was supposedly a corruption of ‘Uraniste’ or one who practices Uranian or homosexual love, and the green carnation was said to be the badge of Parisian pederasts. If either had been true, Edward Carson, the Marquess of Queensberry’s defence lawyer in the libel trial, would certainly have pinpointed them, as he did the overtly gay passages in the magazine publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray (which were later suppressed in the book.)”

Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/may/07/top10s.oscar.wilde
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