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A Woman of No Importance: By Oscar Wilde - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books A Woman of No Importance is a play by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. The play premièred on 19 April How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books 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. Like Wilde's other society plays, it satirizes English upper class society. It has been performed on stages in Europe and North America since his death in 1900. The play opens with a party on a terrace in Lady Hunstanton's estate. The upper class guests spend the better part of Act I exchanging social gossip and small talk. Lady Caroline Pontrefact patronizes an American visitor, Hester Worsley, and proceeds to give her own opinion on everyone in the room (and her surrounding life). Lady Caroline also denounces Hester's enthusiasm for Gerald Arbuthnot until Gerald himself enters to proclaim that Lord Illingworth, a powerful, flirtatious male political figure intends to take him under his wing as secretary. This is great news for Gerald, as being Lord Illingworth's secretary would be the young man's first step to a life of financial/political success. The guests then discuss the rumors surrounding Lord Illingworth's aim for being a foreign ambassador, while Lady Hunstanton sends a letter through her footman to Gerald's mother, inviting her to the party.


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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books A Woman of No Importance is a play by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. The play premièred on 19 April How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books 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. Like Wilde's other society plays, it satirizes English upper class society. It has been performed on stages in Europe and North America since his death in 1900. The play opens with a party on a terrace in Lady Hunstanton's estate. The upper class guests spend the better part of Act I exchanging social gossip and small talk. Lady Caroline Pontrefact patronizes an American visitor, Hester Worsley, and proceeds to give her own opinion on everyone in the room (and her surrounding life). Lady Caroline also denounces Hester's enthusiasm for Gerald Arbuthnot until Gerald himself enters to proclaim that Lord Illingworth, a powerful, flirtatious male political figure intends to take him under his wing as secretary. This is great news for Gerald, as being Lord Illingworth's secretary would be the young man's first step to a life of financial/political success. The guests then discuss the rumors surrounding Lord Illingworth's aim for being a foreign ambassador, while Lady Hunstanton sends a letter through her footman to Gerald's mother, inviting her to the party.

30 review for A Woman of No Importance: By Oscar Wilde - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything. After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even ones own relations. To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people - that is all! We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body. Even if you have never come across these particular quotations before, you might be likely to guess “One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.” “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” “To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people - that is all!” “We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body.” Even if you have never come across these particular quotations before, you might be likely to guess correctly at their author. Oscar Wilde excelled in writing light and witty, drawing room satires, plays containing line after line such as these. However, his 1893 play A Woman of No Importance, is a curious mix of this type he wrote so well, and a more serious and bitter condemnation of social mores, which we would more readily expect from his contemporary fellow Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw. Both authors lived partly during the Victorian era, when women had very few rights compared with men, and this is often highlighted in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, but not so often in Oscar Wilde’s. With this play, Oscar Wilde too has decided to explore some of the double standards of the end of the nineteenth century. However at the start of A Woman of No Importance, this is not yet apparent. We are on familiar territory: the drawing rooms and gardens of the rich and powerful, where Lord, Ladies, and occasionally members of the clergy meet to socialise and gossip about their contemporaries. We are ready for drolleries and sizzling satire; we are ready for Oscar Wilde’s wickedly unkind put-downs, and we are not disappointed: “The happiness of a married man depends on the people he has not married.” “Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.” “Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.” “My dear young lady, there was a great deal of truth; I dare say, in what you said, and you looked very pretty while you said it, which is much more important.” The First Act is set on the terrace at Hunstanton Chase. As the play opens, we meet Lady Caroline Pontefract on the garden terrace. A party is being held, and the privileged upper class guests are exchanging social gossip and small talk. Lady Caroline Pontefract enthusiastically holds forth, giving her opinion on everyone and everything in her social milieu. We become aware very quickly, that not only is she wealthy and a member of the aristocracy, but that she holds everyone else in disdain, and enjoys holding court and displaying her power to her own advantage. Lady Caroline Pontefract, along with Lady Jane Hunstanton, is ostensibly welcoming Hester Worsley, a wealthy young American who is visiting England for the first time, but in fact she is using all her effort to criticise and make those around her feel as small and worthless as possible. She is certainly providing many amusing lines for the audience to appreciate. However the play is not really about her. One of the people Lady Caroline denigrates is a young clerk, called Gerald Arbuthnot, but young Hester Worsley objects, defending him. This young American woman is remarkably direct and confident, compared with the English young ladies of her time and class. The audience sits up. We believe her straightforwardness, and as a consequence are interested to see this young man for ourselves. Right on cue, Gerald Arbuthnot eagerly bursts in to inform the party that he has been made Lord Illingworth’s secretary. Lord Illingworth, we learn, is a powerful politician. This is exciting news for Gerald, affording him many prospects, as being Lord Illingworth’s secretary would potentially be his first step to a financially and politically successful life. Lady Hunstanton, unlike Lady Caroline, is pleased for Gerald and sends a letter through her footman inviting his mother to join their party at the estate. Mrs. Arbuthnot is highly regarded and has a great reputation in the community. The two young people, Gerald and Hester, leave the scene to go for a walk. Lady Hunstanton and Lady Stutfield have been prompted by events to discuss Lord Illingworth’s ambitions to be a foreign ambassador, and they go on to gossip and criticise his immorality towards women, when Lord Illingworth himself proceeds to enter the terrace. The ladies quickly switch their focus, thanking him for hiring Gerald Arbuthnot, but Lord Illingworth mysteriously says that he had had a personal interest in hiring the young man. We quickly deduce from his behaviour, that Lord Illingworth is unscrupulous and unprincipled. He is exceedingly flirtatious and cruel, using his power much in the way that Lady Caroline uses hers. He excels at witty bon mots, and is one of Oscar Wilde’s most watchable anti-heroes. There is an enjoyable lengthy scene between Lord Illingworth and a Mrs. Allonby, an equally quick-witted woman, who defies his overwhelming vanity. In his outrageous arrogance and flirtatiousness, Lord Illingworth claims he has such power over women, that he has never met a woman who could resist his advances. Mrs. Allonby therefore challenges him to make Hester Worsley, whom we have learned by now is eighteen and a Puritan, fall in love with him. The First Act ends with a letter being received from Mrs. Arbuthnot, to say that she will arrive at the party after dinner. Lord Illingworth sees the reply by letter from Mrs. Arbuthnot lying on the table, and clearly recognises the handwriting. Evidently appalled, his reaction prompts Mrs. Allonby to ask curiously who she is, whereupon he dismissively replies, “A woman of no importance.” The Second Act is set in the drawing room of the Hunstanton estate. Hester Worsley has been holding her own against the opinionated ladies in the party. They clearly find her honesty amusing and naïve, and according to their personalities, are either trying to be kind and direct her towards the accepted English way to behave in society, or maliciously mocking her. Hester is gradually disliking these ladies more and more, and becoming very contemptuous of their dissembling. The play is changing in tone, and we are aware that it is becoming far more serious. We are rapidly losing the wit of the drawing room comedy. When Gerald’s mother, Mrs. Arbuthnot, enters, we learn an extraordinary and unexpected fact. (view spoiler)[Gerald is the illegitimate child of Mrs. Arbuthnot and Lord Illingworth, who had once been known as George Harford. As George Harford, Lord Illingworth had refused to marry the woman carrying his child. He had offered to provide financial security for the baby (who of course is Gerald Arbuthnot) but Mrs. Arbuthnot despises him, for his refusal to marry her, and thereby forcing her to cope with the scandal of being a single mother. (hide spoiler)] The scene becomes even more emotionally charged when Mrs. Arbuthnot begs him to leave her son alone, saying that Gerald is all she has, “George don’t take my son away from me. I have had twenty years of sorrow, and I have had only one thing to love me, only one thing to love. You have had a life of joy, and pleasure, and success.” Lord Illingworth callously refuses, saying that Gerald should be able to choose his own future. When Gerald enters, Lord Illingworth reiterates that he is immensely pleased with his choice, and that Gerald has the highest qualities that he had hoped for in a secretary. Mrs. Arbuthnot now begs her son not to take the advantageous position he has been offered, but refuses to reveal why. Gerald can see no reason to refuse this opportunity, and furthermore is very irritated with his mother’s seemingly inexplicable dislike of Lord Illingworth. Lord Illingworth pushes his advantage home, demanding that she explain to both of them, any possible reason she might have to protest against this golden opportunity for her son. Mrs. Arbuthnot is defeated. (view spoiler)[Unwilling to reveal that she is not a widow and incur the scandal that is bound to ensue when society learns that that her son is illegitimate, (hide spoiler)] Mrs. Arbuthnot, greatly troubled, says that she has no other reason. The play has now become a savage indictment of the double standards of Victorian morality. Act Three takes place in the Hall at Hunstanton Chase. Lord Illingworth is victorious. We watch as he maliciously uses Gerald’s confiding in him to his own despicable advantage. Gerald evidently trusts his future employer, and seeks his advice about his mother. He says how much he admires her and wishes to protect her. He expresses to Lord Illingworth what a great woman she is, and wonders aloud why she has never told him of his father. Lord Illingworth uses this as an opportunity to promote his cynical views that even “great women” have limitations which inhibit the natural desires of young men. Lord Illingworth boastfully points out that he has never been married, and holds forth about society and morality, promising that he will introduce Gerald to new opportunities, and by implication a promiscuous and exciting new life. We see, through his depiction, that Victorian men were forgiven for their moral indiscretions, whereas society would thoroughly condemn women for similar actions, which would inevitable be judged and condemned as moral failings. When the other guests enter, Lord Illingworth capitalises on his success, entertaining them (and us) with his outrageous and shocking views on society. By now the audience loathes this man, yet in common with the company he is lecturing, we hold a secret admiration for his wit. Mrs. Arbuthnot says she would be sorry to hold such appalling views, (view spoiler)[and pointedly says that ruining a woman’s life is unforgivable. (hide spoiler)] Gerald still clearly admires Lord Illingworth, and fully intends to go to India with him at the end of the month, despite his mother’s earlier pleas. Mrs. Arbuthnot, left alone with Hester, tries to rekindle the previous conversation about the position of women. It seems as though she is attempting to sound out Hester’s views. Indeed, Hester has very strong opinions about the double standards employed towards the men who unthinkingly impregnate women, and can then deny all knowledge, and the women who are then scorned and condemned by society. However, she does not believe that women are free of blame, roundly condemning both, “It is right that they should be punished, but don’t let them be the only ones to suffer. If a man and woman have sinned, let them both go forth into the desert to love or loathe each other there. Let them both be branded. Set a mark, if you wish, on each, but don’t punish the one and let the other go free. Don’t have one law for men and another for women.” (view spoiler)[Mrs. Arbuthnot has suffered yet another blow. Desperate by now, on Gerald’s return Mrs. Arbuthnot decides to tell her son the truth about his origin and her past life with Lord Illingworth, but does so obliquely, in the third person. She hopes to fully convey the despair of the women who are maligned and betrayed in this way. Gerald however, remains unmoved. Ironically, what seems to spur him into action is when Hester enters the room in great distress, exclaiming that Lord Illingworth tried to kiss her. Seeing Gerald in such a rage that he might attack Lord Illingworth, Mrs. Arbuthnot finally reveals the truth, that Lord Illingworth is his father. (hide spoiler)] The scene ends inconclusively, with Gerald taking his mother home, and Hester leaving on her own. Act Four, the Final Act, has a very subdued feel. Gone is the bright sparkle of the play’s witty opening scene; gone is the drama of unfolding events. It takes place in the sitting room in Mrs. Arbuthnot’s house in Wrockley. Gerald is writing a letter (view spoiler)[to his father, Lord Illingworth, asking him to marry his mother. He has also decided to decline Lord Illingworth’s offer to become his secretary. Mrs. Arbuthnot is appalled at the idea of marrying a man she detests, saying that that she will not make a mockery of her life by marrying Lord Illingworth now. Hester having overheard their conversation, supports Mrs. Arbuthnot’s decision. Running to Mrs. Arbuthnot, she says she has realised, “I was wrong. God’s law is only Love.” She nobly offers to use her wealth to take care of Gerald, the man she loves and Mrs. Arbuthnot, as the mother she never had. When Lord Illingworth arrives, he magnanimously offers to marry Mrs. Arbuthnot and accept Gerald as his son. Mrs. Arbuthnot will not countenance his suggestion, telling him that she hates him and could never marry him. Lord Illingworth attempts to hit back, asserting that she had meant nothing to him, after which Mrs. Arbuthnot slaps him with his own glove. The neat closing moments show Mrs. Arbuthnot, now alone, calling for Gerald and Hester. She asks her future daughter-in-law to accept her as a mother. Gerald notices the glove on the floor, and not knowing of the tempestuous scene we have just witnessed, asks who has just visited. The final, perfectly apposite words spoken by Mrs. Arbuthnot to close the play, are, “No one in particular. A man of no importance.” (hide spoiler)] A Woman of No Importance is a strange meld that does not quite work. It starts as a comedy of society: a social drawing room satire, with the familiar types of epigrams, such as, “The youth of America is their oldest tradition” and aphorisms such as, “Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed” “Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself” and paraprosdokians, such as, “It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true.” This deliciously wicked type of disingenuous writing is what we associate most with Oscar Wilde. Increasingly however, this play becomes more about the dark side of the Victorian era: a time of great moral hypocrisy where double standards were the norm. The “Poor Law” of the 19th century in Great Britain, included a “Bastardy Clause”, which made illegitimate children the sole responsibility of their mothers until they were 16 years old. If mothers of such children were unable to support themselves and their offspring, they would have to enter the workhouse. The fathers of such children had no responsibility in Law. The reasoning behind this, was the idea that this law would teach women to be more moral. Our modern sympathies are more inclined to rest with the abandoned women who have been left destitute. Yet the most appealing characters by far are those who embody this hypocrisy: Lord Illingworth and, to a lesser extent, Lady Caroline. It is they who provide our most enjoyable entertainment. Sadly, the characters in the play with whom we have most sympathy, who are upstanding, truthful and just, come across as boring and dull. Hester Worsley is one of the strongest characters in the play, and it is her voice which echoes Oscar Wilde’s own opinions and indictments against some of the attitudes of his day. “You love the beauty that you can see and touch and handle, the beauty that you can destroy, and do destroy, but of the unseen beauty of life, of the unseen beauty of a higher life, you know nothing. You lost life’s secret.” “You shut out from your society the gentle and the good. You laugh at the simple and the pure. living, as you all do, on other and by them, you need at self-sacrifice, and if you throw bread to the poor, it is merely to keep them quiet for a season.” “You are unjust to women in England. And till you count what is a a shame in a woman to be an infamy in a man, you will always be unjust, and Right, that pillar of fire, and Wrong, that pillar of cloud, will be made dim to your eyes, or be not seen at all, or if seen, not regarded.” Worthy she may be, passionate she certainly is, but neither she nor Mrs. Arbuthnot are at all appealing. Neither is Gerald Arbuthnot; he is merely weak. Even the drollery and waspishness of the minor characters is more enjoyable to watch than Hester’s droning moral monologues. In a play which is clearly intended to be persuasive, it is a mistake to make the immoral anti-hero quite so witty, intelligent and charming. Perhaps Oscar Wilde could not resist the temptation. But what this ends up as is a competition in dialogue between Lord Henry Wotton’s wit in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and the earnest missionary zeal of Barbara Undershaft in George Bernard Shaw’s “Major Barbara”. Sadly it loses focus, and falls between the two. Interestingly Oscar Wilde reworked some of the dialogue from this one in his later plays. For instance, in one scene, Lord Illingworth and Mrs. Allonby share the line, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.” “No man does. That is his.” The character of Algernon was to make the same remark in the incomparable “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Perhaps, after all, Oscar Wilde himself thought of this as a lesser play, and one which had not quite succeeded as he would have wished.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    I absolutely love this play. So compelling, witty and nuanced - I love the social criticism and the ending. Such a great play.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed. You should never try to understand them. Women are  pictures. Men are problems. If you want to know what a woman really means which, by the way, is always a dangerous thing to do  look at her, don't listen to her Elaborated Review soon. Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed. You should never try to understand them. Women are  pictures. Men are problems. If you want to know what a woman really means ­ which, by the way, is always a dangerous thing to do ­ look at her, don't listen to her Elaborated Review soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Umut Rados

    I loved this play, but my favourite is still The Importance Of Being Earnest. This play had a wide cast of characters that allowed for social commentary. It created some witty conversations to include an American woman. I loved the ending! Definitely recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    Stabbing Toys I believe he said her family was too large. Or was it her feet? I forget which. I regret it very much. I assure you, dear, that the country has not that effect at all. Why, it was from Melthorpe, which is only two miles from here, that Lady Belton eloped with Lord Fethersdale. I remember the occurrence perfectly. Poor Lord Belton died three days afterwards of joy, or gout. I forget which. We had a large party staying here at the time, so we were all very much interested in the Stabbing Toys “ I believe he said her family was too large. Or was it her feet? I forget which. I regret it very much.“ “I assure you, dear, that the country has not that effect at all. Why, it was from Melthorpe, which is only two miles from here, that Lady Belton eloped with Lord Fethersdale. I remember the occurrence perfectly. Poor Lord Belton died three days afterwards of joy, or gout. I forget which. We had a large party staying here at the time, so we were all very much interested in the whole affair.” “One should never take sides in anything, Mr. Kelvil. Taking sides is the beginning of sincerity, and earnestness follows shortly afterwards, and the human being becomes a bore.” “Quite so. It is the problem of slavery. And we are trying to solve it by amusing the slaves.” “— Do you really, really think, Lady Caroline, that one should believe evil of every one? — I think it is much safer to do so, Lady Stutfield. Until, of course, people are found out to be good. But that requires a great deal of investigation nowadays.” “ — How very, very charming those gold-tipped cigarettes of yours are, Lord Alfred. — They are awfully expensive. I can only afford them when I’m in debt. — It must be terribly, terribly distressing to be in debt. — One must have some occupation nowadays. If I hadn’t my debts I shouldn’t have anything to think about. All the chaps I know are in debt. — But don’t the people to whom you owe the money give you a great, great deal of annoyance? — Oh, no, they write; I don’t.” Words are toys by the pen of Oscar Wilde. Toys that he commonly uses to stab (stab?!... did I say stab?!... Sorry... I meant play, of course 😜) the English high society 😊 P.S.: Oscar Wilde is the one and only gay I marry in dreams. That of course is the best excuse I found for remaining single 😜

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa J.

    Mini-review: I'll keep this review short because I have a really long list of quotes. This one was a little sad, but it was, ironically, really hilarious too. It involves family drama, scandal, an arrogant jerk responsible for all the conflict in the play, etc. I enjoyed this play from beginning to end. As you may expect from Oscar Wilde, it was witty and cynical through and through. However, I do have one complaint: Some repetitions of quotes. For example, there was one that made fun of marriage, Mini-review: I'll keep this review short because I have a really long list of quotes. This one was a little sad, but it was, ironically, really hilarious too. It involves family drama, scandal, an arrogant jerk responsible for all the conflict in the play, etc. I enjoyed this play from beginning to end. As you may expect from Oscar Wilde, it was witty and cynical through and through. However, I do have one complaint: Some repetitions of quotes. For example, there was one that made fun of marriage, and I'm pretty there was a really similar (if not the same) to that one in another of the plays I read before this one. Maybe this would have not been easy to notice if I hadn't read so many of his plays in a row. Still, I enjoyed this immensely, especially the ending, which I will not spoil, but it made me feel so so so happy and grateful that karma exists. 100% recommended. List of quotes: LADY STUTFIELD. Ah! The world was made for men and not for women. MRS. ALLONBY. Oh, don’t say that, Lady Stutfield. We have a much better time than they have. There are far more things forbidden to us than are forbidden to them. It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true. LADY CAROLINE. You believe good of every one, Jane. It is a great fault. LADY STUTFIELD. Do you really, really think, Lady Caroline, that one should believe evil of every one? LADY CAROLINE. I think it is much safer to do so, Lady Stutfield. Until, of course, people are found out to be good. But that requires a great deal of investigation nowadays. MRS. ALLONBY. What a thoroughly bad man you must be! LORD ILLINGWORTH. What do you call a bad man? MRS. ALLONBY. The sort of man who admires innocence. LORD ILLINGWORTH. And a bad woman? MRS. ALLONBY. Oh! the sort of woman a man never gets tired of. LORD ILLINGWORTH. I never intend to grow old. The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. MRS. ALLONBY. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life’s tragedy. One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation. I don’t think that we should ever be spoken of as other people’s property. All men are married women’s property. That is the only true definition of what married women’s property really is. But we don’t belong to any one. When one is in love one begins by deceiving oneself. And one ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. I am disgraced: he is not. That is all. It is the usual history of a man and a woman as it usually happens, as it always happens. And the ending is the ordinary ending. The woman suffers. The man goes free. How could I swear to love the man I loathe, to honour him who wrought you dishonour, to obey him who, in his mastery, made me to sin? P.S.: Just as a side note, most of those quotes were said by Lord Illingworth, the cynic of the play, and the causer of mischievances.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    This is an 1893 play by Oscar Wilde that had a fair amount of success, although it's not regarded as one his best. It's a satire on upper class English society, and of course the best thing about it is Wilde's brilliant wit. It starts out a little slow but finishes with a flourish, although act IV is somewhat melodramatic. 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I'm fond of Oscar Wilde.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Artemisia

    MRS. ALLONBY: The one advantage of playing with fire, Lady Caroline, is that one never gets even singed. It is the people who don't know how to play with it who get burned up.MRS. ALLONBY: What a througly bad man you must be! LORD ILLINGWORTH: What do you call a bad man? MRS. ALLONBY: The sort of man who admires innocence.MRS. ALLONBY: Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man's last MRS. ALLONBY: The one advantage of playing with fire, Lady Caroline, is that one never gets even singed. It is the people who don't know how to play with it who get burned up.MRS. ALLONBY: What a througly bad man you must be! LORD ILLINGWORTH: What do you call a bad man? MRS. ALLONBY: The sort of man who admires innocence.MRS. ALLONBY: Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man's last romance.HESTER: [...] You love the beauty that you can see and touch and handle, the beauty that you can destroy, and do destroy, but of the unseen beauty of life, of the unsee beauty of a higher life, you konw nothing. You lost life's secret. [...]LORD ILLINGWORTH: You should never try to understand them. Women are pictures. Men are problems. If you want to know what a woman really means - wich, by the way, is always a dangerous thing to do - look at her, don't listen to her. MRS. ARBUTHNOT: Don't be deceived, George. Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely if ever do they forgive them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    In defense of the Single Mother 14 February 2019 Port Campbell Oh crap, I go on a holiday and the thing that I forget is the charger for my laptop. Gee, that is incredibly inconvenient, but at least it is a road trip, and I am not too far from where I live, so I can sort of drive back, get the charger, and then continue on my trip (though it turned out to be further than I thought, so I just got a universal charger, which will come in handy back at university). Well, that does sort of depend on In defense of the Single Mother 14 February 2019 – Port Campbell Oh crap, I go on a holiday and the thing that I forget is the charger for my laptop. Gee, that is incredibly inconvenient, but at least it is a road trip, and I am not too far from where I live, so I can sort of drive back, get the charger, and then continue on my trip (though it turned out to be further than I thought, so I just got a universal charger, which will come in handy back at university). Well, that does sort of depend on the amount of time that I have, but since I’m driving, and my brother really doesn’t care where we end up going, then that does turn out to be a good thing. Anyway, this delightful little play is Wilde’s way of poking fun at the upper class of English society, but then again this is something that he seems to regularly do with his works. Actually, come to think of it, a lot of plays seem to be placed in the upper echelons of society, possibly because it allows us to get a glimpse into the rather scandal ridden, and ridiculous nature of the rather well healed. The story is about a single mother, something that you really didn’t want to be back then. Actually, come to think of it, single mothers these days also get dumped on pretty heavily as well. In a way they are sort of slut shammed, namely because they happen to be left with the child after some rather dubious philanderer has their way with them and then disappears. However, in this story the father returns in an attempt to goad the child to come to India with him to work in the civil service. Now, this is a pretty big thing, because getting into the Indian Civil Service was actually really, really hard. I remember going for a job in the civil service in Australia, for the Attorney General’s Department, and that was seriously one of the hardest interviews that I have ever been to. The amount of testing that they put you through is incredible. In a way that gives me an idea of what it was like to get into the Indian civil service in Victorian England – it was highly competitive, and only the best could hope to succeed. The problem is that the poor woman is a single mother, which means that in part she is an outcast, and as the title of the play suggests, the father really doesn’t care about her. It is his son that he is interested in, and she can, well, go jump. In a way she is of no importance. That is the tragedy of the situation, in that the male, no matter how bad he is, still seems to get away with being a jerk while the woman is left to clean up the pieces. It reminds me of university where the male would have notches on his belt, while the woman would be slut shamed. In a way nothing has changed – single mothers are ridiculed and considered to be a burden on society. In fact, the suggestion is that they actually go out and have kids simply so they can bludge off welfare. This is incredibly unfair, especially since the same people who slut shame them, also deny them abortions. In a way they expect them to remain pure while the guy, well, the guy can pretty much do what they want to do, and get away with it as well. Of course, considering that this is a comedy, everything does eventually work out quite well. However, the beauty of this play is that Wilde is challenging the male attitude of treating women as conquests, and of being of no importance, while the male is considered to be a hero, and a sexual conqueror. No, the difference here is that Wilde makes us sympathise with the woman, while we turn our nose up at the male, who in the end we consider to be of no importance. Oh, and before I forget, this is a prime example of Wilde’s skill with the English language. The way he puts this play together, and the way he drafts the lines, is nothing short of perfection. No wonder when I actually saw one of his plays performed I considered him to be nothing short of a modern day Shakespeare.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    "Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them."

  11. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    A Woman of No ImportanceLORD ILLINGWORTH: It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true."A Woman of No Importance" is a play by Oscar Wilde which premiered on 19 April 1893 in London. It is one of Oscar's society plays which satirizes the English upper class society. The conversations are all about gossip and small talk, and most of the characters are shallow and viewless. At the beginning of the A Woman of No ImportanceLORD ILLINGWORTH: It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true."A Woman of No Importance" is a play by Oscar Wilde which premiered on 19 April 1893 in London. It is one of Oscar's society plays which satirizes the English upper class society. The conversations are all about gossip and small talk, and most of the characters are shallow and viewless. At the beginning of the play Lady Caroline denounces Hester's enthusiasm for Gerald Arbuthnot until Gerald himself enters to proclaim that Lord Illingworth, a powerful, flirtatious male political figure, intends to employ him as his private secretary. Then Gerald is regarded as a good match after all. The ladies of the company constantly discuss rumours about Lord Illingworth – his aim for being a foreign ambassador, his social life and amoral qualities toward women. And as soon as he enters the room, the sole focus is on him. Everything he has to say opposes the norm and excites the company, the only one who remains undeceived by him is Mrs. Arbuthnot, who had been unfortunate enough to meet him in her youth. I was quite surprised to discover that this is quite the feminist play. Oscar tackles the issue of double standards in the Victorian Era and that men were forgiven for their indiscretions far more readily than women, and women were more condemned for moral failings. During a discussion of sinful women, Mrs. Arbuthnot contrasts Lady Hunstanton's later opinion by saying that ruining a woman's life is unforgivable. Furthermore, I really appreciated Hester's voice of reason in the play: HESTER: Don't have one law for men and another for women. [...] And till you count what is a shame in a woman to be infamy in a man, you will always be unjust. It was also really uplifting to see that whilst in the beginning of the play Mrs. Arbuthnot was being referred to as a "woman of no importance", this was contrasted by her describing Lord Illingworth as a "man of no importance" by the end of the play, indicating that he has no longer power over her in any way and that she didn't give two shits about him whatsoever. Additionally, it's always nice to see women of the 19th century being strong enough to decline a marriage proposal and having the necessary confidence in their own capability to lead a happy life on their own. Surprisingly, in addition to the male dandy who is present in every society play by Oscar, there is a female dandy in "A Woman of No Importance" – Mrs. Allonby. She is a flirtatious woman who has a bit of a reputation for controversy. She is not the stereotypical female character and is equal to Lord Illingworth in her witticism and cynical statements. MRS. ALLONBY: The only advantage of playing with fire, Lady Caroline, is that one never gets singed. It is the people who don't know how to play with it who get burned up. And probably my favorite scene in the entire play in which Hester and Mrs. Allonby discuss London dinner-parties: MRS. ALLONBY: I adore them. The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk. HESteR: I think the stupid people talk a great deal. MRS. ALLONBY: Ah, I never listen! Another recurring theme is innocence. Innocence is presented in the character of Hester. She is an American girl who is foreign to the beliefs of the British aristocracy and their uptight morals and etiquette. Hester is often taken aback by their views and finds them far too materialistic and judgemental. However, the same can be said vice versa. The company sees Hester as naive and assumes that she has a hidden agenda in spreading her Puritan views. I was really surprised by the ending of the play, drawing from my experience of reading other plays by Oscar, I thought that the dandy would come out on the top, but instead we had a triumph of family and feminism. Oscar didn't shy away from destroying his dandy – Illingworth came to regret his mode of life and had to recognize that he was at fault whereas the Puritan and the Feminist (in the play) had something more valuable to say. The humour in "A Woman of No Importance" was much more subtle than in "The Importance of Being Earnest", but brilliant nonetheless. The fact that all characters had such annoying and exaggerated quirks, added a lot to my enjoyment of the satirical aspect of the play. For instance, Lady Caroline's blatant ignorance – she constantly and shamelessly refers to Mr. Kelvil as Mr. Kettle – or the fact that she is quite the overbearing wife and as soon as her husband is out of sight, quickly retrieves him and lectures him on everything. Another example for the satire in the play is Lady Studfield's stupid repetition of words on every occasion ("very, very interesting", "very, very wicked" etc.) – it supports the fact that she is a woman who has no mind of her own and just goes along with the things the important people in the room are saying. Overall, I really enjoyed "A Woman of No Importance" and highly appreciated that it was a much more deeper and meaningful play . I applaud Oscar for his advocacy for gender equality.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ohana Rowen

    Although this certainly isn't the best Wilde play with regards to writing and comedy, it definitely contains the strongest and most critical themes. Like all his plays Wilde is extremely and effectively critical of 19th century, however this play emphasises the distorted attitudes towards women. Wilde powerfully displays 19th century society's views towards women - how a man can be deceitful yet admired but a woman who is unmarried and unchaste is a woman of no importance. Lord Illingworth is Although this certainly isn't the best Wilde play with regards to writing and comedy, it definitely contains the strongest and most critical themes. Like all his plays Wilde is extremely and effectively critical of 19th century, however this play emphasises the distorted attitudes towards women. Wilde powerfully displays 19th century society's views towards women - how a man can be deceitful yet admired but a woman who is unmarried and unchaste is a woman of no importance. Lord Illingworth is pompous and self-indulged yet the other characters almost worship him. Where as Mrs. Arbuthnot has a son, Gerald, who was born out of wedlock and for this she is eschewed. However, without revealing the twist, Wilde shows how preconceived views can be wrong. It also criticises how 19th century viewed women as rebellious. Hester, a 'Puritan' American, expresses different views from English society about how women should act; for this she is deemed 'different'. The views she express are very liberal for the time which the other characters mock. For a current audience this is quite humourous and displays some dramatic irony as Hester's views almost align with society today. This play is definitely worth a read as it gives us an insightful view into the somewhat corrupt ideology of the 19th century. It might not mean to but this is a 'feminist' play which will not leave you disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Hester: I dislike London dinner-parties. Mrs. Allonby: I adore them. The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk. Oscar Wilde gives us a dinner party, where cultures clash, secrets unfold, characters are revealed and the upper class doesnt necessarily get the upper hand. This one is short and light, yet with a little sting in the tail. Lord Illingworth: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. Mrs. Allonby: No man does. That is his. It is an Oscar Wilde style Hester: I dislike London dinner-parties. Mrs. Allonby: I adore them. The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk. Oscar Wilde gives us a dinner party, where cultures clash, secrets unfold, characters are revealed and the upper class doesn’t necessarily get the upper hand. This one is short and light, yet with a little sting in the tail. Lord Illingworth: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. Mrs. Allonby: No man does. That is his. It is an Oscar Wilde style of social criticism, which instead of harsh judgments from the outside, is more like when your friend says, “You know, we really shouldn’t be doing this.” I love that about him. This seems like a particularly appropriate time to be reading Oscar Wilde. I read six of his works this year, and I can’t help but wonder what he would be writing about society if he was around today. We might be better for his gentle scoldings.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katarina

    Whenever I am in a reading slump or just not in the mood to finish my current read, Oscar's writing is the answer to my problem. His wit has and always will amaze me. His understanding of life, opposite sex and human relations in general, which have scarcely changed over time, are precise and true. If social media existed in his time I'm sure Oscar would've founded Tumblr. After all that is where people go when they are in dire need of a quote, is it not? P.S. I think that is the reason I won't Whenever I am in a reading slump or just not in the mood to finish my current read, Oscar's writing is the answer to my problem. His wit has and always will amaze me. His understanding of life, opposite sex and human relations in general, which have scarcely changed over time, are precise and true. If social media existed in his time I'm sure Oscar would've founded Tumblr. After all that is where people go when they are in dire need of a quote, is it not? P.S. I think that is the reason I won't ever be able to give his work a low rating - he is my Tumblr. :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    LunaBel

    Saints vs Sinners The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Gerard: I want to go with Lord Illingworth, but I cannot abandon my mother. Mrs. Arbuthnot: You are all mine, son. Lord Illingworth: You cant have him all for yourself, not anymore. The only sin of Mrs. Arbuthnot catches up with her 20 years after she commits it. She has to give up her son to the one who destroyed her life by disgracing her. She has to let her only Saints vs Sinners The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Gerard: I want to go with Lord Illingworth, but I cannot abandon my mother. Mrs. Arbuthnot: You are all mine, son. Lord Illingworth: You can’t have him all for yourself, not anymore. The only sin of Mrs. Arbuthnot catches up with her 20 years after she commits it. She has to give up her son to the one who destroyed her life by disgracing her. She has to let her only son embrace his father, whom Gerald thought was dead. Mrs. Arbuthnot has only one way to save her son and that is by telling him the truth no matter how hard it is.   “A Woman of no Importance” is an enjoyable read. I loved the way dichotomies are distorted. Saints are rejected while sinners are accepted with open arms. Disgraceful practices linger by and no one seems to pay attention to them. They are even encouraged. Dialogues contain what people think more than what they actually say, things that one is not supposed to say. Dialogues reveal what women would rather not tell and be, and men are portrayed as how they are loved because of their flaws and despised because of their intellect.   Mrs. Arbuthnot is a saint even though she is sinful. Her sin belongs to the past and even if it always there, as her son, she is a saint because “the only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” She tries to repent by dedicating her life to her son. She gives up everything for him, even her name. Her name caught my attention as being “are but not.” She becomes a nameless creature because of a wicked man, an“Ill personage” whose actions only bring misery. His worth is limited to his position and not to his virtues, as he has none. Lord Illingworth never changes. He tries to seduce and disgrace every woman whom he develops an interest but when he realizes that he has a son, something awakens in him. Regret. His only regret is that because of his actions, he cannot get to love and keep his son as his legitimate child. But even that regret fades quickly.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Read as part of my omnibus The Plays of Oscar Wilde while listening to the BBC Radio 4X radio drama (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jr48). 3.5 stars --- this play, while containing some excellent quips including (view spoiler)[the famous exchange Lord Illingworth: "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy." Mrs. Allonby: "No man does. That is his." (hide spoiler)] , lacks the lightness of touch that characterizes "An Ideal Husband" and "Lady Windemere's Fan". Instead, Wilde Read as part of my omnibus The Plays of Oscar Wilde while listening to the BBC Radio 4X radio drama (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jr48). 3.5 stars --- this play, while containing some excellent quips including (view spoiler)[the famous exchange Lord Illingworth: "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy." Mrs. Allonby: "No man does. That is his." (hide spoiler)] , lacks the lightness of touch that characterizes "An Ideal Husband" and "Lady Windemere's Fan". Instead, Wilde seems almost to pound home his point about the unfairness of society's judgement that when a couple sins, it is the woman who gets punished while the scandal barely affects the man at all. The BBC Radio drama stars Diana Rigg as Mrs Arbuthnot, Martin Jarvis as Lord Illingworth, Annette Crosbie as Lady Hunstanton and Sir Michael Hordern as Sir Charles Crawford. As might be expected with this cast, it was a treat to listen to these actors. I did regret a few of the cuts that the adaptor made but they were all well chosen in the sense of not disrupting the flow of the talk. Here is one snippet that got cut which as an American I particularly like: Lady Hunstanton: ... Well, from whatever source her large fortune came, I have a great esteem for Miss Worsley. She dresses exceedingly well. All Americans do dress well. They get their clothes in Paris. Mrs. Allonby: They say, Lady Hunstanton, that when good Americans die they go to Paris. Lady H: Indeed? And when bad Americans die, where do they go? Lord Illingworth: Oh, they go to America.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Saburi Pandit

    It's rare, Wilde's intelligence, his arrogance in writing, and his understanding of people. He fills this play, with the charm of his characters, the tragedy of them, thier boring lives at times, and their blistering reality. By the end of the play, I was glad to see that Wilde had understood the women to not be the same. As he had understood his men.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bigsna

    Always delightful to read Oscar Wilde. Even better listening to it - enacted by a full cast theatre group - the LA Theatre Works.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Woosh! That's the sound of half the by-play going over my head. If it hadn't been for the laugh track in this play, I wouldn't have realized a lot of it was a joke. For all that, there were some real scorchers. Wilde certainly had a way with words. Lord Illingworth was a prick, but he was certainly an affable & pleasant dinner companion. (Reminded me a lot of my step-father; a nice guy on short acquaintance, but an absolutely unreliable & selfish bastard over time.) He was definitely the Woosh! That's the sound of half the by-play going over my head. If it hadn't been for the laugh track in this play, I wouldn't have realized a lot of it was a joke. For all that, there were some real scorchers. Wilde certainly had a way with words. Lord Illingworth was a prick, but he was certainly an affable & pleasant dinner companion. (Reminded me a lot of my step-father; a nice guy on short acquaintance, but an absolutely unreliable & selfish bastard over time.) He was definitely the life of the play & had ever so many great lines. His entrance, "It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true." is a perfect introduction & summation. There were a lot of other great lines. I'd love to watch this some time with Maggie Smith & casting by Downton Abbey group. This reading was fantastic, but just the voices could be a bit confusing. If anyone knows of a good video presentation, I'd appreciate it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Boysie Freeman (not my real name, it's just my Internet name)

    I like Wilde, I love Wilde, I can give my kidney to Wilde, but in this drama he recycled his epigrams way too often in a less funny way. No offense I'm Wilde fangirl and I will hit you with my Wilde Complete Works if you ever dare to criticize "The Importance of Being Earnest" but this one... meh, Wilde at his worst, because he was lazy. I don't mind Wilde repeating himself but this play is weak to compare with An Ideal Husband or Lady Windermere's Fan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Neeraj Chavan

    Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed. To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people. That is all. When one is in love one begins by deceiving oneself and one ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. This is one of those typical Oscar Wilde plays, filled with aphorisms in the form of conversations. The story begins with the entire bunch of play's characters Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed. To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people. That is all. When one is in love one begins by deceiving oneself and one ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. This is one of those typical Oscar Wilde plays, filled with aphorisms in the form of conversations. The story begins with the entire bunch of play's characters gathering together in Lady Hunstanton's garden and the conversations that follow. I have always loved Oscar Wilde's plays its rich prose and the ideas that Wilde expresses in a rather satirical way, through his characters. Every character is interesting. Especially Lord Illingworth and Mrs Allonby. Set in 1890s, Wilde has attacked the self-righteousness and hypocrisy of upper-class society and how they treat women in the society, in his usual cynical manner. The storyline is basic, however being an Oscar Wilde play, the rich prose and witticisms surely make it worth reading. Would definitely recommend this one to Oscar Wilde fans!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Cooke (Bookish Shenanigans)

    I absolutely loved this play and examination of women's precarious position in Victorian society and how easily it can be ruined.

  23. 4 out of 5

    El

    (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) I want to say that this is probably the weakest of Wilde's plays so far, and I read on Wikipedia that that's actually a common thought. There's a lot of fun dialogue which is... well... fun... but as far as plot goes, it doesn't really kick in until sometime later. Which, when it shows up, actually feels a bit disjointed. Then the plot itself is one that he seems to have written frequently. It was apparently a schtick of his. It gets stale after (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) I want to say that this is probably the weakest of Wilde's plays so far, and I read on Wikipedia that that's actually a common thought. There's a lot of fun dialogue which is... well... fun... but as far as plot goes, it doesn't really kick in until sometime later. Which, when it shows up, actually feels a bit disjointed. Then the plot itself is one that he seems to have written frequently. It was apparently a schtick of his. It gets stale after a while. But there are still wonderful quotable moments, which is the real reason any of us even read Wilde, right? "Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is hope." "The one advantage of playing with fire, Lady Caroline, is that one never gets even singed. It is the people who don't know how to play with it who get burned up." "I don't think that we should ever be spoken of as other people's property. All men are married women's property. That is the only true definition of what married women's property really is. But we don't belong to any one." "Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man's last romance." Anyway, good stuff, but not Wilde's best. I'm actually beginning to wish Wilde had written about something other than relationships between men and women in society. That's what he is truly known for, but such rapid back-to-back readings of his writing make me wonder if he wasn't just a one-trick-pony. A brilliant one-trick-pony. But.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    There is a deception that is part of the fun of reading Oscar Wilde. This work is a four Act play and, for the most part, reads like a typical drawing room piece. Todays audiences would have great difficulty in watching people seated and chatting, even if witticisms are being bandied about. After a while, all of the one-upmanships begin to grow stale. Then, there is the amoral reprobate who seems to be a featured player in so many of Wildes works. This is the pattern for the first two Acts. I There is a deception that is part of the fun of reading Oscar Wilde. This work is a four Act play and, for the most part, reads like a typical drawing room piece. Today’s audiences would have great difficulty in watching people seated and chatting, even if witticisms are being bandied about. After a while, all of the one-upmanships begin to grow stale. Then, there is the amoral reprobate who seems to be a featured player in so many of Wilde’s works. This is the pattern for the first two Acts. I was trying to decide whether or not to do a review or just let this one go. Things change and become much more intriguing in Acts Three and Four. Wilde had fun poking holes into the mores and morals of society. He was an expert at making them look nonsensical and fit only for derision (which he applied in healthy doses). In this one, though, lessons are learned and emotions take a heartfelt turn. It is weaker Wilde and not great drama by any means. However, it is still worthwhile ... and it is especially enjoyable to see that twist on the play’s title at the conclusion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Wildes always good for a laugh. He plays his contradictions perfectly. But I always come away from his comedies feeling like I just ate a lot of candy and now Ive got a stomachache. For all their cleverness, theyre really quite flimsy. I actually think his novel is better than all his plays- its intentions run a little deeper and it stands up a little better on examination. Still- A Woman of No Importance is probably my favourite Wilde play, and it is, after all, so outrageously witty that Id be Wilde’s always good for a laugh. He plays his contradictions perfectly. But I always come away from his comedies feeling like I just ate a lot of candy and now I’ve got a stomachache. For all their cleverness, they’re really quite flimsy. I actually think his novel is better than all his plays- its intentions run a little deeper and it stands up a little better on examination. Still- “A Woman of No Importance” is probably my favourite Wilde play, and it is, after all, so outrageously witty that I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it the full 5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    Rich in drama and scandals, this play is an absolute delight! The satire is on point and the climax is so ahead of its time. The feminist in me cant be happier! Reducing a star because of the long melodramatic conversation between the ladies in Act One, although I completely understand the need for it. 4/5🌟. Rich in drama and scandals, this play is an absolute delight! The satire is on point and the climax is so ahead of it’s time. The feminist in me can’t be happier! Reducing a star because of the long melodramatic conversation between the ladies in Act One, although I completely understand the need for it. 4/5🌟.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra: At a country house party, Mrs Arbuthnot's long-concealed secret comes back to haunt her. Stars Diana Rigg and Martin Jarvis.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hamza

    "The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived." "All love is terrible. All love is a tragedy." "Lord Illingworth : I was very young at the time. We men know life too early. Mrs. Arbuthnot : And we women know life too late. That is the difference between men and women." I couldn't read a page without admiring and quoting some passage ... It's just an amazing way of writing !

  29. 4 out of 5

    Poornima

    This is one of the more serious books from Oscar Wilde. Starts with the typical-Oscar Wilde satire, but quickly gets serious. Found myself rooting for Mrs.Arbuthnot - strong and sensible woman. Some of the thoughts elicited here against the differential attitude in the society towards men and women would have surely been ahead of its times - almost 'feminist' in nature. What is pitiful though is that, not much has changed today in most societies. Definitely worth a read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alaa ϟ

    I'm absolutely biased to Oscar Wilde's writing. The quotations, I have nearly highlighted everything this man wrote. His writing is absolutely delicious. I can't get enough. so sassy so sarcastic i love.

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