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Picture of Dorian Gray, The, A Longman Cultural Edition


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Product Details

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







Promotional Information

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.

About the Author

Andrew Elfenbein is the Morse-Alumni Distinguish Teaching Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He works on 18th- and 19th-century British literature, gender and sexuality studies, the history of English, and cognitive approaches to reading.


This novel by Wilde is so well known that even many who have never read it or seen a movie version know the story. Briefly, a beautiful young man has a portrait painted that will show his aging and corruption while he himself remains young. And though it has been published in many editions since its first appearance in 1890 in a magazine, this edition is the first one based on Wilde's uncensored typescript. Frankel (English, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) provides an introduction that sets the scene of the book in its cultural context, and he presents a bibliographic history detailing the rationale for this particular edition. Accompanying the text itself are Frankel's hundreds of annotations, a mixture of commentary, background information, and notes on sources. There are extensive illustrations reproduced here in both color and black and white, many from earlier editions of Dorian and others chosen to further illuminate the novel's themes. There are several images of Wilde as well. VERDICT Like Harvard University Press's other beautiful annotated editions of classics, this is both handsome and instructive. Recommended for all English literature collections.-David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 10 Up-"The Whole Story" format provides illustrations and annotations to the classic text. Ross's lively and sophisticated cartoons add interest, and historical information helps readers place the novel in proper context and gives insight into its characters. The problem with this attractive, glossy layout, however, is that the text and the quotes pulled from it are not always on the same page. Further, some illustrations and notations visually cut into the narrative and may distract readers. For example, a drawing appears on the first page along with the passage, "In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty," but that quote does not appear until the second page of the story. Useful as a supplement to the original novel, but not a replacement for it.-Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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