Book Title: Wilde's EARNEST: A Century and More of Critical Commentary
The present volume proposes to remedy the great lack of access to critical responses to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Criticism of Wilde’s play abounds, but for the most part it lies out of the way, a challenge to track down, requiring research among a multitude of potential sources, or hours spent combing through files of newspapers, or consultation of bibliographies of secondary writings followed by trips to libraries or, more recently, investigation of on-line sources.
Readers approaching this comprehensive account of criticism will find it can be read as a straightforward chronological narrative, conveniently divided into chapters of moderate length, allowing time for some reflection along the way. It can also be used as a basis for identification and description of insightful criticism that can be located and explored independently; outstanding critical approaches to Wilde’s play can be located by employing the Works Cited as a convenient handlist for exploration. For readers whose memory of the play in performance or reading may be fragmentary or less than full, a summary of the action and an indication of the time scheme of The Importance of Being Earnest will be found at the end of the book, as Appendix 1. References are gathered in footnotes, with short citations keyed to the list of Works Cited at the end.
Wilde's EARNEST: A Century and More of Critical Commentary by Joseph Donohue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.