Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. Known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. As the result of a famous trial, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labor after being convicted of the offence of "gross indecency."

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From LibriVox:

1.  The Picture of Dorian Gray -  Dorian Gray, a young man of wealth and stature in late 1800’s London, meets Lord Henry Wotton while posing for a portrait by his friend Basil Hallward. Once the painting is complete, Dorian realizes that it will always be young and attractive, while he will be forced to age and wither with the years. Carelessly, he wishes the opposite were true. What happens is a treatise on morals, self-indulgence and how crucial personal responsibility is towards one’s self. 

2.  Canterville Ghost - The American Minister and his family have bought the English stately home Canterville Chase, complete with the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville – blood-stains, clanking chains and all. But these modern Americans will have no truck with ghostly goings-on, and set out to beat the spectre at his own game.

3a.  The Importance of Being Earnest - A classic comedy of manners in which two flippant young men, in order to impress their respected beloveds, pretend that their names are “Ernest,” which both young ladies believe confers magical qualities on the possessor. It was first performed for the public on February 14, 1895 at the St. James’ Theatre in London, and is regarded by many critics and scholars as being the wittiest play in the English language. 

3b.  The Importance of Being Earnest (Another Audio Solo Version)
This is a solo recording of the play, meaning that all parts including stage directions are performed by one person. LibriVox has three excellent dramatic recordings with all the parts played by different people so if that is more to your taste, please listen to them. Little needs to be said about the play itself, a sparkling example of Wilde's amazing ability to poke fun at almost everyone while making you laugh out loud at the witty sayings sprinkled throughout the acts. As to the plot, if you don't know it already, let me just say that it involves two young English men who fall madly and instantly in love with two young English.women who of course love them back mainly because their name is Earnest. Unfortunately, that is not their names and there are many bumps and crashes on the road to the happy wedding bells. I only hope I have done justice to this jewel of a play.

4.  An Ideal Husband - A 1895 comedy which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honor. The action is set in London, in “the present”, and takes place within a single day. “Sooner or later,” Wilde notes, “we shall all have to pay for what we do.” But he adds that, “No one should be entirely judged by their past.”

5.  The Birthday of the Infantia    (2nd story from Short Story Collection 038)

6.  A Florentine Tragedy    A Florentine Tragedy, is Wilde’s most successful attempt at tragedy – intense and domestic, with surprising depth of characterisation. It was adapted into an opera by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky in 1917. 

7.  La Sainte Courtisane      La Sainte Courtisane, or The Woman Covered in Jewels explores one of Wilde’s great idées fixes: the paradox of religious hedonism, pagan piety. 

8.  The Devoted Friend  (4th story in Short Works 003)

9.  The Young King  (20th story in short story collection 39)

10.  The Fisherman and his Soul  is a fairy tale first published in 1891 in Wilde’s “A House of Pomegranates”.   It tells of a fisherman who nets and falls in love with a mermaid.

11.  The Star Child  (5th story in Children's Stories 04)

12.  Lady Windermere’s Fan - A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, published in 1893. As in some of his other comedies, Wilde satirizes the morals of Victorian society, and attitudes between the sexes.

13.  The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde (4th story in Children’s Short Works # 08)
    14.  The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde  (12th story in Children’s Short Works # 08)
      15.  Salome - The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils. 

      16.  The Soul of Man - Wilde wittily assails several of his favorite targets: the misguided purveyors of philanthropy; life-denying ascetics of various kinds; the army of the half-educated who constitute themselves the enemies of Art - and those venal popular journalists who cater to them...

      17.  The Happy Prince and Other Tales  - The Happy Prince and Other Tales (also sometimes called The Happy Prince and Other Stories) is an 1888 collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde. It is most famous for The Happy Prince, the short tale of a metal statue who befriends a migratory bird. Together, they bring happiness to others, in life as well as in death. The stories included in this collection are:
      The Happy Prince
      The Nightingale and the Rose
      The Selfish Giant
      The Devoted Friend
      The Remarkable Rocket

      18.  A Woman of No Importance - A Woman of No Importance is a play by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. The play premièred on 19 April 1893 at London's Haymarket Theatre. It is a testimony of Wilde's wit and his brand of dark comedy. It looks in particular at English upper class society.

      19.  The American Invasion by Oscar Wilde (1st story from Short Nonfiction # 25)

      20.  Slaves Of Fashion by Oscar Wilde (12th story from Short Nonfiction # 25)

      21.  The Duchess of Padua - Guido Ferranti, a young man, travels to Padua with his friend Ascanio after receiving a mysterious letter from a stranger, claiming to know the true secret of Guido's birth. His plan of revenge goes awry, however, when he falls in love with his enemy's beautiful wife, the Duchess of Padua.

      22.  A House of Pomegranates - A House of Pomegranates (1891) is a collection of fairy tales, written by Oscar Wilde, that was published as a second collection for The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888). Wilde once said that this collection was "intended neither for the British child nor the British public."

      23. The Birthday Of The Infanta (14th story from Short Works - Vol 16)

      24.  The Star-Child (10th story in Short Story Collection # 53)

      25.  The Remarkable Rocket by Oscar Wilde (2nd story in Children’s Short Works # 17)

      26.  Vera; or, The Nihilists  -  A  play by Oscar Wilde. It is a melodramatic tragedy set in Russia and is loosely based on the story of Vera Zasulich. It was the first play that Wilde wrote. It was produced in the United Kingdom in 1880, and in New York in 1882, but it was not a success and folded in both cities. It is nowadays rarely revived.

      27.  The Sphinx Without a Secret by Oscar Wilde (3rd story in Short Story # 55)

      28.  The Happy Prince and Other Tales - Wilde's collection of fairytales has delighted both children and adults since it was first published in 1888. It contains five stories, "The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Selfish Giant", "The Devoted Friend", and "The Remarkable Rocket". 

      29. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories - Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories is a collection of short semi-comic mystery stories. This collection exemplifies Wilde's sharp wit and dark humor. Stories in this collection include Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, The Canterville Ghost, The Sphinx Without a Secret, The Model Millionaire, and The Portrait Of Mr. W H.

      30.  The Trial of Oscar Wilde - In 1895 Oscar Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labor. This account of his two trials was compiled from the original shorthand court reports by an anonymous author. While a more complete account of the trial was published several years later, it omitted the more 'sensational' exchanges. This shorter version was clearly intended for a more prurient reader. In it we hear Wilde's famous defense of "the love that dare not speak its name", and see the evidence mount as a succession of attractive young men step into the witness box to tell their tales.

      31.  Charmides, and Other Poems -  This is a volume of poetry by Oscar Wilde, containing some of his rather famous longer poetry in the first part, and a section of sonnets in the second part of the book.


       From Archive.Org - Audio:

      1. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime


      From AudioBooksForFree.Com  (You Must Log In)

      1. Birthday of the Enfanter


      From Miettcast.Com:

           1.  The Happy Prince If anybody ever asks you if you’re a happy prince or a sparrow, you should be prepared with an answer.

      Oscar Wilde Fleeced at Banco by Anonymous (13th story in Non-fiction Story # 29)
      Oscar Wilde: The Story of an Unhappy Friendship by Robert Sherard - Robert Sherard was Oscar Wilde's friend of 20 years and first biographer. The Story of an Unhappy Friendship was the first of his four biographies of the Irish playwright and wit.