Continuously in print since 1948, the 'Collins Complete Works of Oscar Wilde' has long been established as the most comprehensive and authoritative single-volume collection of Wilde's work available, containing his only novel, 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters, all in their most authoritative texts.
This new illustrated edition, specially published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Wilde's death, incorporates new revisions to the text of 'The Ballard of Reading Gaol.' The book includes introductions to each section by Merlin Holland (Oscar Wilde's grandson), Owen Dudley Edwards, Declan Kiberd and Terence Brown.
Also included is a comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Oscar Wilde, and a chronological table of his life and work.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, in Dublin. His parents were William (afterwards Sir William) Wilde, a renowned ear and eye surgeon, and Jane Francesca Wilde, who, under the name 'Sperenza', wrote political articles for the Young Ireland movement.
Oscar was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College, Oxford. He became a leading light of the so-called 'Aesthetic Movement' (satirised by Gilbert and Sullivan in 'Patience') and was recognised as one of the leading wits of the age. Plays such as 'Lady Windermere's Fan' (1893) and 'The Importance of Being Ernest' (1895) established him as the most important contemporary dramatist; other great works included several children's stories, such as 'The Happy Prince and other Tales' (1888), his only novel 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray' (1891), and much important art criticism.
He was imprisoned for homosexuality in 1895, serving his time in Wandsworth Prison and Reading Gaol. His wife obtained legal a separation from him, and he never saw her or his two sons again. On his release in 1987, he settled in France, and died from cerebral meningitis in Paris, in 1900.