Picture of Dorian Gray, The, A Longman Cultural Edition

By Oscar Wilde, Andrew Elfenbein

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Oct 16, 2006


From Longman's new Cultural Editions Series, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, edited by Andrew Elfenbein, includes the novel and contextual materials from the era of Oscar Wilde.

This edition of Oscar Wilde's classic work, The Picture of Dorian Gray, highlights the novel's modernity in both its form and its revolutionary content, and traces its links to modernist literature and the culture of modernity alike.

Previous editions of the novel have only seen it in a late Victorian context, or as an extension of the aesthetic theories of Walter Pater and the “art for art's sake” movement. As presented in this new edition, however, the freshness and originality of the book emerges, along with its strong social messages. The book is a pastiche of genres that propels nineteenth-century realism into twentieth-century modernism ahead of its own time. Wilde's novel offers a myth for modernity whose hold on the cultural imagination has only strengthened over time-Dorian Gray's uncanny bond with his own portrait underscores the loss of selfhood everyone experiences in a world of images and copies, paves the way for the discourses of homosexuality and the understanding of lifestyle as identity so current today, and provides clues to the mysteries of modern ethics and politics. The edition also emphasizes the role of gender and the rise of female emancipation underlying the Sybil Vane subplot, a focus on women that intensifies the book's relevance to modern transformations of men and women alike.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


About Longman Cultural Editions


About This Edition




Table of Dates


The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)




    Textual Issues


        The Two Versions of The Picture of Dorian Gray

        from Chapter 1 (1890, 1891)

        from Chapter 7 (1890) and Chapter 9 (1891)

        from Chapter 10 (1890) and Chapter 12 (1891)

        from Chapter 13 (1890) and Chapter 20 (1891)


        Chapter 11:  Further Annotations


    Victorian Reactions to The Picture of Dorian Gray



        Ward, Lock, and Co., Lippincott's Advertisement for The Picture of Dorian Gray

        Samuel Henry Jeyes, St. James's Gazette and Wilde's responses

        Walter Pater, The Bookman



        Robert Smythe Hichens, from The Green Carnation

        George Slythe Street, from The Autobiography of a Boy


        Wilde's Trials

        from Regina (Oscar Wilde) vs. John Douglas (Marquess of Queensberry)



        Walter Pater, "Conclusion" to The Renaissance

        Mathew Arnold, from Culture and Anarchy

        Oscar Wilde, from The Decay of Lying

        Joris-Karl Huysmans, from A Rebours (Against the Grain)



        Charles Darwin, from The Descent of Man

        William Kingdon Clifford, from "Right and Wrong:  The Scientific Ground of their Distinction"

        Thomas Henry Huxley, from "Science and Culture"

        Henry Maudsley, from The Physiology and Pathology of the Mind


        Love between Men

        John Addington Symonds, from "A Problem in Greek Ethics"

        Richard St. John Tyrwhitt, from "The Greek Spirit in Modern Literature"

        Havelock Ellis, from Sexual Inversion


        Works Cited in the Notes


        Further Reading







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