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The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

By Oscar Wilde / Leonard Smithers and Co / 1899



Writing in the height of the aesthetic movement in Europe, Oscar Wilde rose to the pinnacle of popular society on both the strength of his writing’s biting social commentary and his glittering public persona. Considered by many to be Wilde’s magnum opus, The Importance of Being Earnest follows upper-class individuals who work around stringent Victorian social standards by creating fictitious personas. It satirizes Victorian culture by trivializing grave institutions like marriage.

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Product Details

  • Title: The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
  • Author: Oscar Wilde
  • Publisher: Leonard Smithers and Co.
  • Publication Date: 1899
  • Pages: 176

About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) is the foremost representative of aestheticism in English literature. Born in Dublin, the son of Anglo-Irish intellectuals, Wilde became fluent in French and German as a child and went on to study classics at Oxford. In his early career, Wilde worked in London as a prolific journalist, lectured, and published poetry. He quickly became a well-known public personality. He published his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, in 1890, and in the early 1890s went on to write several plays featuring the biting high-society satire that brought him to the apex of his fame.