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Book Review: An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Genre: Play, Theatre
Book Name: An Ideal Husband
Author: Oscar Wilde
Pages: 78
Publication Year: 1893

So, this is my week of reading playwrights. After having finished A Doll’s House and The Importance of Being Earnest, I was more impressed by Oscar Wilde. Probably, as a child, I may have been asked to remember this author’s name as part of the General Knowledge subject, but the way his books are so popular, I am sure there would be something to refer back, but only if I have kept my school books till now.

While The Importance of Being Earnest was a downrightly funny book, this – An Ideal Husband has much more depth and things to ponder upon. So-called trustworthy politicians, love, family, marriage, cheating, gripping storyline, engrossing satire, witty and clever play of words, this book has everything one may want in a playwright. Although for feminists, a few dialogues/acts may be slightly jarring but since this was written during Victorian times, but those are better ignored.

I was so entranced that I could imagine the characters on a big canvas screen playing out their roles and ah, the impeccable dialogue delivery gave me such memorable moments. Do I need to see a movie based on this? Oh no, but yes, a play adaption here in my city will surely be a catch!

This became my go-to-book for a few nights post office hours since I was reading this in a super-slow motion. And I have saved this book for happy moments and stress-buster. Very much recommended!

Let us look at some of the dialogues:
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. – Haven’t we all done that – advising others while rarely following us on our own?
Oh, I love London Society! I think it has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be. – Hasn’t social media (Facebook and the likes) have reduced us to the likes of dummies?
It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have the need of love. – Really is any one perfect, if yes, they are just kidding themselves?

P.S: It is available free of cost on Amazon Kindle version. So what you waiting for! Shop and enjoy…

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
An Ideal Husband revolves around a blackmail scheme that forces a married couple to reexamine their moral standards — providing, along the way, a wry commentary on the rarity of politicians who can claim to be ethically pure. A supporting cast of young lovers, society matrons, an overbearing father, and a formidable femme fatale continually exchange sparkling repartee, keeping the play moving at a lively pace.

Like most of Wilde’s plays, this scintillating drawing-room comedy is wise, well-constructed, and deeply satisfying. An instant success at its 1895 debut, the play continues to delight audiences over one hundred years later. An Ideal Husband is a must-read for Wilde fans, students of English literature, and anyone delighted by wit, urbanity, and timeless sophistication.

About the author:
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. 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. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of “gross indecency” with other men. On his release from prison, he lived in obscurity, and died in poverty.


Rating: 10/10

Read reviews of other books by Oscar Wilde on this blog – The Importance of Being Earnest.

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