Table of Contents

Oscar Wilde: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

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

Appendix A: Playbills for The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)

  1. The First, Uncensored Playbill
  2. The Second, Censored Playbill

Appendix B: Reactions and Reviews

  1. From The Daily Graphic (15 February 1895)
  2. From William Archer, The World (20 February 1895)
  3. From The Observer (17 February 1895)
  4. From The Times (15 February 1895)
  5. From Bernard Shaw, Saturday Review (1895)
  6. From Max Beerbohm, Around Theatres (1902)

Appendix C: Ada Leverson’s “The Advisability of Not Being Brought Up in a Handbag” (1895)

  1. Ada Leverson, “The Advisability of Not Being Brought Up in a Handbag,” Punch; or,The London Charivari (2 March 1895)
  2. Telegram from Oscar Wilde to Ada Leverson (15 February 1895)

Appendix D: Three Works by Gilbert and Sullivan

  1. From W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, Patience; or, Bunthorne’s Bride (1881)
  2. From W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria (1889)
  3. From W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, HMS Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor (1878)

Appendix E: From J.G.F. Nicholson, Love in Earnest

Appendix F: Conduct Manuals

  1. From Mrs. Humphrey, Manners for Men (1897)
  2. From Julia McNair Wright, Practical Life; or,Ways and
    Means for Developing Character and Resources

Appendix G: On Dandyism and on Wilde as a Dandy

  1. From Charles Kendrick, Ye Soul Agonies in Ye Life of Oscar Wilde (1882)
  2. George Frederick Keller, “The Modern Messiah,” Wasp (31 March 1882)
  3. Linley Sambourne, “O.W. [Punch’s Fancy Portraits 37],” Punch; or,The London Charivari (25 June 1881)
  4. From Lloyd Lewis and Henry Justin Smith, “No Wave of His Chiseled Hand” (1936)
  5. “Aestheticism as Oscar Understands It” (1882)
  6. “Mr. Wild [sic] of Borneo” (1882)
  7. W.H. Beard, “The Aesthetic Monkey” (1882)

Appendix H: Other Works by Wilde

  1. From “A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated” (1894)
  2. From “Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young” (1894)
  3. From “Preface,” The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
  4. From “The Decay of Lying” (1889)
  5. From De Profundis (1897; published 1962)
  6. Letter to Philip Houghton (February 1894)
  7. Letter to George Alexander (July 1894)
  8. Letter to George Alexander (September 1894)
  9. Letter to George Alexander (October 1894)
  10. Letter to an Unidentified Correspondent (February 1895)
  11. Letter to Lord Alfred Douglas (February 1895)
  12. Letter to R.V. Shone (February 1895)

Appendix I: From the Original Four-Act Version

  1. Passages Regarding Algernon’s and Ernest’s Past-due Accounts
  2. Passages Illuminating the Characters and Roles of Miss Prism and Canon Chasuble
  3. Additional Passages


Posted on October 29, 2015