The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

An Annotated, Uncensored Edition

Book - 2011
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The Picture of Dorian Gray altered the way Victorians understood the world they inhabited. It heralded the end of a repressive Victorianism, and after its publication, literature had?in the words of biographer Richard Ellmann??a different look.? Yet the Dorian Gray that Victorians never knew was even more daring than the novel the British press condemned as ?vulgar,? ?unclean,? ?poisonous,? ?discreditable,? and ?a sham.? Now, more than 120 years after Wilde handed it over to his publisher, J. B. Lippincott & Company, Wilde's uncensored typescript is published for the first time, in an annotated, extensively illustrated edition.

The novel's first editor, J. M. Stoddart, excised material?especially homosexual content?he thought would offend his readers' sensibilities. When Wilde enlarged the novel for the 1891 edition, he responded to his critics by further toning down its ?immoral? elements. The differences between the text Wilde submitted to Lippincott and published versions of the novel have until now been evident to only the handful of scholars who have examined Wilde's typescript.

Wilde famously said that Dorian Gray ?contains much of me?: Basil Hallward is ?what I think I am,? Lord Henry ?what the world thinks me,? and ?Dorian what I would like to be?in other ages, perhaps.? Wilde's comment suggests a backward glance to a Greek or Dorian Age, but also a forward-looking view to a more permissive time than his own, which saw Wilde sentenced to two years' hard labor for gross indecency. The appearance of Wilde's uncensored text is cause for celebration.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011
ISBN: 9780674057920
Branch Call Number: 823 W644P 2011
Characteristics: 295 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Frankel, Nicholas 1962-


From Library Staff

The Picture of Dorian Gray, which shocked Victorian England, was even more challenging to readers’ sensibilities in its original form. This beautifully annotated printing of the uncensored original typecast provides insight to the novel’s cultural context.

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May 25, 2019

The annotations provide a fantastic amount of detail. More for someone who has already read Dorian Gray and wants to understand it better.

Sep 29, 2014

Wikipedia article on "The Picture of Dorian Gray" including censorship by the publisher: . . . .

Jul 13, 2014

Very dense with the annotation. It provides literary context that would be helpful for say, a book report, but not for a casual read.
Timeless classic of a novel, still.

I've lost a bookmark featuring a pink-haired girl in one of these books, so that taints the novel unfavorably for me. Hope I find it.

EuSei May 25, 2012

I was very excited to read this original version of Wilde’s “Dorian Gray.” Alas, I got the impression that, for the author, anyone who condemned Wilde’s homosexuality was deemed bad; the ones who approved of his conduct, were good… Besides, I do not like the title. The book was not "censored." Like all writers since the beginning of printed books, writers are urged by their editors/publishers to make changes to their books. Why would Wilde be an exception? He was writing to sell to the readers of his time; consequently he had to adapt to their tastes if he really wanted to sell! Incidentally, “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie has been factually censored—just try to find it in the original title! Yet, nobody wrote an “Uncensored Edition” of it—not to mention of the many other Christie’s books that have been censored by the Thought Police.

Feb 15, 2012

The only criticism I'd make of this edition of the book is that the extensive annotation can make it difficult to follow the thread of the novel itself, even though the notes add a great deal to the reader's understanding of social context and subtle references. It's an excellent resource and fantastic to read as Wilde originally intended, but I'm not certain it would be the best version for a first-timer.

Feb 04, 2012

Okay- So everyone who's sane know's what a total drag it can be to read a classic. We all like the 'idea' of reading brilliant literature (and classics are -in a sense- brilliant), but is the task of FINISHING a classic every unburdened? No. Not really. Except for The Picture Of Dorian Gray. This book is just straight up gnarrly.


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