The savage power of ancient myth collides with twentieth-century decadence in Wilde's astonishing verse tragedy. Banned by the Lord Chamberlain in 1892, Wilde rewrote the play in French and it premiered in Paris in 1896, when Wilde was in prison. Translated by Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas ('Bosie'), from the French, the play was finally seen in London in 1906. This edition, published alongside this rare revival, carries new introductions by the academic Trevor Griffiths and Jamie Lloyd, director of this new production.
OSCAR WILDE (1856-1900), novelist, essayist, poet and wit, as well as playwright, wrote all four of the plays for which he is famous in three short years in his late thirties: 1892-5. The last of them, The Importance of Being Earnest, one of the best comedies in the English language, opened as he was beginning the libel suit against the Marquess of Queensberry that led Wilde to a prison sentence and death in exile in Paris five years later.