The Picture of Dorian Gray

Ranked #2 in Irish, Ranked #4 in Victoriansee more rankings.

On its first publication The Picture of Dorian Gray was regarded as dangerously modern in its depiction of fin-de-siècle decadence. In this updated version of the Faust story, the tempter is Lord Henry Wotton, who lives selfishly for amoral pleasure; Dorian's good angel is the portrait painter Basil Hallward, whom Dorian murders. The book highlights the tension between the polished surface of high society and the life of secret vice. Although sin is punished in the end the book has a flavour of the elegantly perverse.

With an Afterword by Peter Harness.


Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Picture of Dorian Gray from the world's leading experts.

Eric Berkowitz The Picture of Dorian Gray is now a part of the canon that no one would admit to not having read. Most of us have read it and delighted in its witticisms. It’s hard to imagine, but when Dorian Gray was first published, the book was not well received at all. It was totally panned. It was held against him as being an example of an effete character. It was being serialised by Lippincott’s Magazine, and the serialisation of the novel stopped when it became too inflammatory. (Source)

Marc Montagne My favorite fiction book is the The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I'm a huge Oscar Wilde fan, he has one of the brightest minds and the Picture is a masterpiece and his unique novel. I consider that you should only read books that you would consider reading again at some point while still enjoying the same pleasure. The Picture is definitely one of those. (Source)

Andra Zaharia A copy from 1903 of this book is my most prized possession. (Source)

Sos Eltis It’s a novel that engages with beauty, aesthetics and the idea of what an aesthetic life would be, but it offers no answers. (Source)

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