This edition has a lot of room for notes on the site and is ideal for students or actors. The Importance of Being Earnest is a comic play by Oscar Wilde. It premiered on 14 February 1895 at the St. James's Theatre in London. Set in England during the late Victorian era, the play's humour derives in part from characters maintaining fictitious identities to escape unwelcome social obligations. It is replete with witty dialogue and satirizes some of the foibles and hypocrisy of late Victorian society. It has proved Wilde's most enduringly popular play. The successful opening night of this play marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his impending downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, father of Wilde's lover Lord Alfred Douglas, attempted to enter the theatre, intending to throw vegetables at the playwright when he took his bow at the end of the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Nonetheless, Queensberry's hostility to Wilde was soon to trigger the latter's legal travails and eventual imprisonment. Wilde's notoriety caused the play, despite its success, to be closed after only 83 performances. He never wrote another play.
About the Author
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest "celebrities" of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.