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The Duchess of Padua Paperback – October 19, 2009

12 customer reviews

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About the Author

Known for his barbed wit, Oscar Wilde was one of the most successful late-Victorian playwrights and a great celebrity. The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray are among his best known works. He is perhaps most famous for his trial, in which he eloquently defended homosexual love and was sentenced to two years of hard labor. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: ValdeBooks (October 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444444603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444444605
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,835,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford where, a disciple of Pater, he founded an aesthetic cult. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and his two sons were born in 1885 and 1886.
His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and social comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), established his reputation. In 1895, following his libel action against the Marquess of Queesberry, Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for homosexual conduct, as a result of which he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and his confessional letter De Profundis (1905). On his release from prison in 1897 he lived in obscurity in Europe, and died in Paris in 1900.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nice Person on September 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I see that one reviewer has done a good job explaining the play, so I wont do that again, just give you my feedback.

1) this is a great edition, if you were wondering

2) you are not likely to see this play as most of Wildes' plays these days that are produced are the well known ones (and nothing wrong with that) so it is very worth reading

3) the play is full of Shakespeare and its a joy to read and clue in to the different Shakespearean undercurrents, like a cultural detective - lots of fun

4) its Oscar Wilde, and if you have not read or see it, you owe it to yourself to do so!

Well recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter John Pols on July 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a treasure - often never seen by average audiences, so its a joy to read. It was Wilds first major work put on, but not really discovered until after Lady W's Fan. This is Wilde exploring self-denying - as he was at the time, at least from a public point of view. Many deep emotions are explored here - from love and hatred, revenge and revulsion.

Great cover and great edition, very good for the Wilde fan and collector.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christine Richardson on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a joy to discover this play! I was puttering about on Amazon and purchasing a copy of The Importance of Being Earnest for a friend for their birthday, when I found this Wilde play. It's not at all like Earnest, and should not be read like a social comedy, however its genius is still Wilde, clearly.

The major theme is emotions, love, revenge, and hatred - and they are not treated in a funny way, quite the reverse. Still, the dialogue is the gift that we get when we read the Duchess, Wilde's way with words is so impressive, that the play begs to be presented.

But, I'm happy to just read it again, knowing that since the folks who buy tickets to Cats wont be paying to watch The Duchess of Padua and therefore it will not go on.

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In his essays, Wilde defended the highly-colored against the naturalistic schools of art and this play is deliberately highly wrought and melodramatic. If you are familiar with Wilde only from The Importance of Being Earnest or even The Picture of Dorian Gray, you'll doubt that this is the same author. Imagine a classic Italian opera plot written in the most purple prose from The Picture of Dorian Gray and that will get you close.

While Wilde was familiar with the French decadence school and the over-the-top lushness of the fin-du-siecle, he was at heart a moralist, which shows in the plot. This is the main difference between this and the typical revenge tragedies from the Renaissance through the Restoration and dramatically might be considered a weakness, but Wilde's mastery of the style still makes this effective drama as well as an exploration of his lesser-known side.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be another classic by the brilliant Oscar Wilde, whom I have never known to write a klinker... until this play. Some may find his comedies - classics, brilliant comedies - to be passe these days, but it's all in the playing. This play, however, is a 5-act 1880's full-blown Romantic Era Melodrama that even the brilliant actresses Sarah Bernhardt or Eleanora Duse could save. It was written for one specific actress whom Wilde was convinced he could elevate even above Bernhardt or Duse, and make his own reputation surpass that of even Victor Hugo. When you read this play, you'll see why there is no way it can succeed. Its central character, a young Italian man named Guido, is a very naive country boy who goes to Padua to try to meet a man who purports to know Guido's true parentage. There are men and women who hate each other with a passion that gnaws the wallpaper right off the sets. There is much talk of killing the leading lady's father, but... Well, let it suffice to say that, were I to review this play, it would take me 4 pages, most devoted to unravelling the totally unbelievable plot. If you're a fan of Oscar Wilde, you'll find some interest in how he fares in this milieu: not his best. I love Wilde, and it must be remembered that he wrote Salome, highly scandalous, but it was a very short melodrama. No one should try to outdo Victor Hugo by writing longer pieces than Hugo does: It can't be done. Many early and rudimentary psychological concepts and symbols that would bring fame to Sigmund Freud appear repeatedly here, i.e. a dagger, in various hands. To quote a far greater playwright, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is written as a play. The theme and style resemble (in a more modern way) a Shakespearian tragedy. In my view Oscar Wilde has written this story with a bit of his trademark humor, but with also with a romantic and social inevitability of doom. Good story but - because of the script style in which it is written - not an easy read.
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