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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four hours. BONUS : • An Ideal Husband Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Oscar Wilde ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four hours. BONUS : • An Ideal Husband Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Oscar Wilde ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for An Ideal Husband (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    An Ideal Husband is an 1895 play by Oscar Wilde, his third most popular work after The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray. In it Wilde explores hypocrisy, corruption, forgiveness and other themes with his trademark epigrammatic humor. Sir Robert Chiltern, a moral, upstanding politician (pause while I take a moment to ponder whether there is such a thing), has a lovely young wife who idealizes him. But Sir Robert turns out to have a major skeleton in his closet: Many years An Ideal Husband is an 1895 play by Oscar Wilde, his third most popular work after The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray. In it Wilde explores hypocrisy, corruption, forgiveness and other themes with his trademark epigrammatic humor. Sir Robert Chiltern, a moral, upstanding politician (pause while I take a moment to ponder whether there is such a thing), has a lovely young wife who idealizes him. But Sir Robert turns out to have a major skeleton in his closet: Many years ago, at the start of his political career, he sold a state secret about the Suez Canal in an insider trading sort of deal, and used that money to make his fortune and jumpstart his career. Now Mrs. Cheveley, an old classmate of his wife (who his wife detests), turns up at a party the Chilterns are hosting, blackmailing Sir Robert into publicly supporting a fraudulent scheme to build a canal in Argentina. It's one canal for another, she tells him. Meanwhile the Chilterns' bachelor friend, Lord Goring, is flirting with Mabel Chiltern, Sir Robert's sister. Luckily for the frantic Sir Robert and his morally inflexible wife, Lord Goring also has some wise advice to dispense to all and sundry, along with a few other tricks up his sleeve. An Ideal Husband isn't as hilariously witty as The Importance of Being Earnest, but it has a little more meat to it. There's a lesson here about how imperfect people still deserve love. You can almost hear Wilde pleading for people to have more tolerance and forgiveness for his own still-hidden-but-beginning-to-fray gay lifestyle. But he makes his moral lesson go down easily, with lots of very funny and very quotable lines. A few sample quotes:I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. Talks more and says less than anybody I ever met. She is made to be a public speaker. You see, it is a very dangerous thing to listen. If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable person. Lord Goring: I am going to give you some good advice. Mrs. Cheveley: Oh! pray don't. One should never give a woman anything that she can't wear in the evening. I don't like principles, father. I prefer prejudices.There are a few eyebrow-raisingly dated lines here as well (the worst is: "A man's life is of more value than a woman's. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A women's life revolves around curves of emotions."). It's pretty infrequent, and is probably just a reflection of Victorian times, though I have to wonder whether Oscar Wilde was just playing with his audience's expectations. But other than those couple of needle-scratch moments, this is a very amusing play that gives us some great food for thought about relationships and forgiveness.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This was my first Oscar Wild read and I immediately fell in love with him. So began my Oscar Wild journey. It was a great read when I first read it. But when I returned to it three years later I realized that "great" is an understatement. It is simply brilliant. There is ample wit, sarcasm, and humor. But underneath the message conveyed is thought-provoking. Oscar Wild is realistic in his observance of humans and his exposure of human follies in the face of power and wealth. He exposes both blac This was my first Oscar Wild read and I immediately fell in love with him. So began my Oscar Wild journey. It was a great read when I first read it. But when I returned to it three years later I realized that "great" is an understatement. It is simply brilliant. There is ample wit, sarcasm, and humor. But underneath the message conveyed is thought-provoking. Oscar Wild is realistic in his observance of humans and his exposure of human follies in the face of power and wealth. He exposes both black and white sides of ambition, showing to what extent one would be driven under its spell. Wild mocks the society for strictly categorizing men and women as good or bad and proceeding to idolize them as perfect or shun them as wicked. He is sarcastic about this strict division imposed by the upper-class society of his day. Wild shows through his words of wisdom that no human is without fault. None is perfect. There are both black and white in us humans. It is the degree which either makes us good or bad. Wild also proceeds to show the importance of accepting the faults and forgiving, probably in reference to himself. This second reading showed me how amazingly Oscar Wild has made this straightforward idea into a complex play. The plot is quite simple but it undergoes a couple of intense plot twists, keeping the reader full of suspense. The read is very engaging from its first dialogue and hard to put down. I was determined to read it slow this time allowing myself enough time to delve into it more fully, but it was a painfully hard job. To say a few words on the characters, while enjoyed the serious, the gossiping, the mocking, I loved the satire of Lord Goring and youthful, careless energy of Mabel Chiltern and their light banter. It made the play even more interesting. This is so far the best Oscar Wild play that I've read and probably my favourite one. I recently read Lady Winderemere's Fan (which I really liked) and felt that it is my favourite, but after this reread I'm very sure that this is my favourite play of Oscar Wild.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa J.

    I'm going to say this for the millionth time: Oscar Wilde is a freaking genius. Everything he writes is pure gold. I love his sense of humour, and his writing. He was a great man (treated badly by the society in which he lived) and a great writer too. I wish I could let him know that. This play was as foolish as the previous one I read, and even when I enjoyed that one more, this one was good all the same. The plot follows some particular characters that are all married or being proposed marriage I'm going to say this for the millionth time: Oscar Wilde is a freaking genius. Everything he writes is pure gold. I love his sense of humour, and his writing. He was a great man (treated badly by the society in which he lived) and a great writer too. I wish I could let him know that. This play was as foolish as the previous one I read, and even when I enjoyed that one more, this one was good all the same. The plot follows some particular characters that are all married or being proposed marriage. It involves some blackmailing and more witty comments about the Victorian society. I laughed out loud with this play a lot. You would not believe how red my face was after so much laughing. Seriously, it was ridiculous. I can't even. But that's great. It says a lot about an author who wrote a comedy for people a century back that can make a teenage girl in the 21st century have so much fun with one of his works. It screams brilliant all over the way. Anyway, I wanted to keep this review short because 1) I want you to experience this for yourself without me spoiling any details, and 2) because I have an enormous list of quotes. If you have not read this, I don't know what you have been doing with your life. Read this ASAP because Wilde is, not joking, one of my favourite authors (and not only mine but of many more people too). Now, here's the obligatory list of quotes: LADY BASILDON: Ah! I hate being educated! MRS. MARCHMONT: So do I. It puts one almost on a level with the commercial classes, doesn't it? My laughter could not be contained after reading that. 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. See why I love his sense of humour? Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are. I agree. You see, it is a very dangerous thing to listen. If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable person. I think I read something similar to that in another book. Oh, I like tedious, practical subjects. What I don't like are tedious, practical people. Me neither. Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth. After more than one hundred years, this still applies to nowadays society. I am always saying what I shouldn't say. In fact, I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes one so liable to be misunderstood. If Wilde knew how many times I have thought that... It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. Truth. ... Told you it was an enormous list of quotes, didn't I? P.S.: I've now made it my new goal to read all of his works this year. First Shakespeare, now Oscar Wilde. Here we go! And fyi, I have not finished my Shakespeare challenge yet, but who cares? I got this new obsession and I will not stay calm until I read all of Wilde's books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    The first positive thing I can say about Wilde's 'An Ideal Husband' is that it includes such grand descriptive details that for the most part, I could almost hear an imaginary audience praising him under their breaths. This play, first performed in 1899, was a joyous and light read, full of fancy frocks and plush behaviour but also weighed down with the problem of misogyny, with several references to male superiority. It was a time when being a woman came with many pitfalls, I felt for them back The first positive thing I can say about Wilde's 'An Ideal Husband' is that it includes such grand descriptive details that for the most part, I could almost hear an imaginary audience praising him under their breaths. This play, first performed in 1899, was a joyous and light read, full of fancy frocks and plush behaviour but also weighed down with the problem of misogyny, with several references to male superiority. It was a time when being a woman came with many pitfalls, I felt for them back then, sadly still do now, in the 21st century. To think out there, right now, they still have to put up with this shit. Deplorable!. Anyway, onto the play... In essence, this is a keyhole view of a high society grappling with the notions of what a marriage stands for, featuring deep characters that feel truly believable, it opens with a dinner party held in London's fashionable Grosvenor Square by House of Commons member Sir Robert Chiltern, the gathering includes his wife, Gertrude, friend Lord Goring and others. There is a blackmail incident, involving a Mrs Cheveley, who knows some dodgy things about Sir Robert's past to do with a Cabinet secret. A problematic situation takes shape. For Lady Chiltern, their marriage is predicated on her having an "ideal husband"—that is, a model spouse in both private and public life that she can worship. Robert has a dilemma, does he remain truthful to his wife, and tell of his guilt?. Poor old Robert is eventualy exposed by Mrs Cheveley, his wife then denounces her husband and refuses to forgive him. From here on in, cue womanizing, political corruption, the resurfacing of a diamond brooch that comes into play, complications arising from a note found leading to thoughts of an affair , plus a Vengeful act out to destroy. But fear not, there is happy ending!. Many of the themes where influenced by the situation Wilde found himself in during the early 1890s, regarding his own fears and stressing the need to be forgiven of past sins, and the irrationality of ruining lives of great value to society because of people's hypocritical reactions to those sins. Also, the position of women in society was criticised by theatre analysers as overt sexism, easy to see why, after it's disclosed "A man's life is of more value than a woman's." There is also an expression of anti-upper class sentiments, on behalf of most of the characters, where the overall portrayal displays an attitude of hypocrisy and strict observance of silly little rules that needn't apply. A humorous read it was, but still carried with it serious undertones. No doubts this worked wonders on the stage. Very good.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    It's a delight to read Wilde's plays, clever and witty, and by all accounts people flocked to the theater in his day to enjoy the fun. I hope a production of this one comes to my town someday, I would love to see it. Very entertaining read, right up there with Earnest. It's a delight to read Wilde's plays, clever and witty, and by all accounts people flocked to the theater in his day to enjoy the fun. I hope a production of this one comes to my town someday, I would love to see it. Very entertaining read, right up there with Earnest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tahera

    "There was your mistake. There was your error.  The error all women commit.  Why can’t you women love us, faults and all?  Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals?  We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses, their follies, their imperfections, love them all the more, it may be, for that reason.  It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. A man’s love is like that.  It is wider, larger, more human "There was your mistake. There was your error.  The error all women commit.  Why can’t you women love us, faults and all?  Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals?  We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses, their follies, their imperfections, love them all the more, it may be, for that reason.  It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. A man’s love is like that.  It is wider, larger, more human than a woman’s.  Women think that they are making ideals of men.  What they are making of us are false idols merely.  You made your false idol of me, and I had not the courage to come down, show you my wounds, tell you my weaknesses.  I was afraid that I might lose your love, as I have lost it now.  And so, last night you ruined my life for me—yes, ruined it!  Let women make no more ideals of men! Let them not put them on alters and bow before them, or they may ruin other lives as completely as you—you whom I have so wildly loved—have ruined mine!" My second play of Oscar Wilde and absolutely loved every second of listening to it! I loved this one even better than The Importance of being Earnest. I wanted to share more quotes but then I realised in doing so I would be sharing more than half of the play's text. All I can say is read the play; you will not be disappointed. Oh and watch the movie too; you will not be disappointed 😁. Superb!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Since I had been seeking a few laughs and had gotten them from Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, I listened to an LA Theater Works production of the play that I had once seen on the stage and enjoyed many ears ago here in Chicago. This was my first time reading it, and thought it had a surprisingly sober dimension to it I hadn't expected it. This play, first performed in 1899, features Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife, Gertrude, who sees her husband as entirely honorable, noble, ideal. Mrs Since I had been seeking a few laughs and had gotten them from Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, I listened to an LA Theater Works production of the play that I had once seen on the stage and enjoyed many ears ago here in Chicago. This was my first time reading it, and thought it had a surprisingly sober dimension to it I hadn't expected it. This play, first performed in 1899, features Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife, Gertrude, who sees her husband as entirely honorable, noble, ideal. Mrs. Cheveley disrupts what is a happy, light domestic scene with a blackmail proposition, based on her knowing something about Sir Robert's past, a youthful indiscretion, something that will bring down his political career. There are some double switches that take place to reveal that there is no perfect person, no "ideal," only the real, the flawed, the human. What I know now is that Wilde couldn't only make a silly comedy, he wanted to make a point that revealed something about his own situation and similar situations, public criticism regarding "past sins," and the ruining of lives. The hypocrisy of the public's expectation for perfection from those in public life, including himself, that was his target. A fun play, a fine and clever skewering.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    Really enjoyable. I do love Oscar Wilde's writing! Really enjoyable. I do love Oscar Wilde's writing!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    Manipulative Mrs Cheveley tries to blackmail Sir Robert Chiltern for a mistake he made as a young man. When his wife finds out, she cannot accept the fact that her husband has imperfections. Lady Chiltern had put him on a pedestal, but no man can be totally righteous. The play has some moments of villainy, levity, and misinterpreted events that lighten the serious themes of reputation, marriage, and forgiveness. The roles of men and women reflect the values of Victorian society. Oscar Wilde is ve Manipulative Mrs Cheveley tries to blackmail Sir Robert Chiltern for a mistake he made as a young man. When his wife finds out, she cannot accept the fact that her husband has imperfections. Lady Chiltern had put him on a pedestal, but no man can be totally righteous. The play has some moments of villainy, levity, and misinterpreted events that lighten the serious themes of reputation, marriage, and forgiveness. The roles of men and women reflect the values of Victorian society. Oscar Wilde is very talented at writing witty banter so reading the play was enjoyable, although a bit dated from a 21st Century viewpoint. It would be wonderful to see the play on stage, especially with the right actors playing the juicy roles of the evil Mrs Cheveley and the dandy Lord Goring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    My very favourite of Oscar Wilde's plays. Choc-a-bloc with wit, and humorous repartee, it also is an intriguing story, and fascinating to see how it plays out. No wonder it is still popular 112 years after is first produced with recent productions on video/DVD doing very well. Member of Parliament Lord Robert Chiltern is blackmailed by the wicked Mrs. Cheverly, with a secret from his youth, leading to a crisis in his life, and in his marriage to the virtuous Lady Chiltern. It is up to his friend, My very favourite of Oscar Wilde's plays. Choc-a-bloc with wit, and humorous repartee, it also is an intriguing story, and fascinating to see how it plays out. No wonder it is still popular 112 years after is first produced with recent productions on video/DVD doing very well. Member of Parliament Lord Robert Chiltern is blackmailed by the wicked Mrs. Cheverly, with a secret from his youth, leading to a crisis in his life, and in his marriage to the virtuous Lady Chiltern. It is up to his friend, the delightfully foppish Lord Goring to help extricate him. All is well that ends well, but not after much interplay and intrigue. Every word in this play is well measured out for one of the great masterpieces of English Drama.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    3.5 stars This wonderful play with gorgeous lines for Lord Goring would have been a solid four star read, were it not for the last couple of pages where Wilde spoilt it for me. Lord Goring, who in my view is the strongest representative of the author’s voice, fell back into a strongly conventional view of women’s place, without the slightest undertone of irony: Lord Goring: "A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman’s life revolves 3.5 stars This wonderful play with gorgeous lines for Lord Goring would have been a solid four star read, were it not for the last couple of pages where Wilde spoilt it for me. Lord Goring, who in my view is the strongest representative of the author’s voice, fell back into a strongly conventional view of women’s place, without the slightest undertone of irony: Lord Goring: "A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man’s life progresses.”(*) Lady Chiltern: “A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. Our lives revolve in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man’s life progresses. I have just learnt this, and much else with it, from Lord Goring…”(**) Richard Allen Cave’s explanatory notes in the Penguin Classics Edition The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays confirm my perception to some extent: (*) “The whole speech has posed problems for some of Wilde’s critics because Lord Goring, whose words have until now sparkled with originality of thought and expression, seems to be offering a decidedly conventional view of woman’s place within marriage (and one that even in its expression draws heavily on the writings of John Ruskin).“ And he tries to console the modern reader: (**) "Feminist and socialist critics alike have taken exception to this speech which represents Lady Chiltern as a kind of puppet programmed by Lord Goring. But this is to miss the careful structuring of the change that Lady’s Chiltern’s character undergoes during this act…” Maybe I am overreacting, but after having read Lady Windermere's Fan and A Woman of No Importance which both have a slightly feminist undertone, I was not expecting this of Oscar Wilde – thus 3.5 stars, I’m afraid.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Review to come when I figure out whether or not this is as ragingly sexist as I think it might be.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily Snyder

    When the name "Oscar Wilde" is brought into company, most people immediately think of "The Importance of Being Earnest," or "That fellow who was so witty," or "Oh, wasn't he really, really gay?" What most people DON'T seem to think of is that Wilde's work was far from trifling (Earnest), more than witty, and often centered quite firmly around the difficulties of heterosexual relationships. "An Ideal Husband" is a comedy. It's important to remember that when watching recent versions which like to When the name "Oscar Wilde" is brought into company, most people immediately think of "The Importance of Being Earnest," or "That fellow who was so witty," or "Oh, wasn't he really, really gay?" What most people DON'T seem to think of is that Wilde's work was far from trifling (Earnest), more than witty, and often centered quite firmly around the difficulties of heterosexual relationships. "An Ideal Husband" is a comedy. It's important to remember that when watching recent versions which like to make it too arch AND simultaneously too sinister. To read the play, one can enjoy all the witticisms and bon mots for which Wilde is justly famous. But beneath that clever exterior is more than a child in a handbasket (a la Earnest) but the difficulties, obligations, and complications with being a MAN in society. Like Wilde's best work (Salome, Dorian Grey, etc.) the hero in "An Ideal Husband" is no saint, although he's perceived as one. And his youthful demons come back to haunt him in the form of blackmail. However, Sir Robert Chilton is a respected politician, a public figure whose whole persona is based around integrity. MORE, though - since we do not travel to Parliament with him, Oscar Wilde makes Robert a seeming paragon at home: a foil to his foppish friend, supporter of his sister-in-law, nearly worshipped by his wife. Perfection is too much to bear. After trying to hide his past from his wife, Robert is forced by Lady Chilton to reveal the truth of his own shameful past. One cannot help but consider Wilde's own domesticity, his public persona - and what heartbreaking conversations were had behind closed doors. In one particularly moving speech, Robert begs his wife to allow him to be human, to be imperfect, and t be loved nonetheless. BUT - and here's what people forget about Wilde, presuming him to be nothing but a lush, Robert also asks his wife for help to overcome his current opportunity to backslide into his former depravity. Wilde's personal voice always comes through the clearer in such soul-searching plays as these. His is the perpetual story of the woman caught in adultery, thrust at Christ's feet, who is ultimately spared, forgiven, and rebuked. I highly recommend anyone studying Wilde's works NOT to neglect reading them, not only in conjunction with the many biographies available, but ALSO in the light of his poems which he wrote in Rome, that are particularly revealing. What's beautiful about Wilde is that he knew how to make us cry, even in the middle of our cultivated smiles.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    THIS WAS AWESOME!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    WhatIReallyRead

    I read An Ideal Husband right after finishing 2 other plays by Wilde. This one had more extensive author's notes, so, by comparison, it felt more descriptive and immersive. The plot combined comedy and drama in a way that made it interesting, amusing, and heart-warming. "Self-sacrifice is a thing that should be put down by law. It is so demoralizing to the people for whom one sacrifices oneself." The dialogue in this play felt more balanced than, say, the one in A Woman of No Importance. The I read An Ideal Husband right after finishing 2 other plays by Wilde. This one had more extensive author's notes, so, by comparison, it felt more descriptive and immersive. The plot combined comedy and drama in a way that made it interesting, amusing, and heart-warming. "Self-sacrifice is a thing that should be put down by law. It is so demoralizing to the people for whom one sacrifices oneself." The dialogue in this play felt more balanced than, say, the one in A Woman of No Importance. The famous Wilde witticisms were still there and abundant enough, but they didn't wrestle attention away from the play itself. On the contrary, the brilliant phrases made the story shine. I really enjoyed this one, it's one my favorite plays by Wilde now. I've just seen the 1999 movie adaptation with Cate Blanchett and it was great as well.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    Review to follow ~~ I loved the wit and charm of this work.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sue K H

    Even better than The Importance of Being Earnest! It's universal, relevant, and timeless. Take politics and relationships, add going back many years in someone's life to destroy and/or judge them, and mix it up with a big dose of humor. This play is perfection! Love, love, love this and Oscar Wilde. Even better than The Importance of Being Earnest! It's universal, relevant, and timeless. Take politics and relationships, add going back many years in someone's life to destroy and/or judge them, and mix it up with a big dose of humor. This play is perfection! Love, love, love this and Oscar Wilde.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    While An Ideal Husband is typical Wilde in many ways, it is not Wilde at his best. Both Lady Windemere's Fan and The Importance of Being Ernest eclipse it. Still, great fun and charged with the kind of wit one expects from Wilde. There is a play upon role reversal that is hilarious, as it is the woman who puts the man upon a pedestal and then knocks him off. There are the usual high-jinks with letters that come into the wrong hands and a ludicrous, but quite nifty, foiling of the primary villain While An Ideal Husband is typical Wilde in many ways, it is not Wilde at his best. Both Lady Windemere's Fan and The Importance of Being Ernest eclipse it. Still, great fun and charged with the kind of wit one expects from Wilde. There is a play upon role reversal that is hilarious, as it is the woman who puts the man upon a pedestal and then knocks him off. There are the usual high-jinks with letters that come into the wrong hands and a ludicrous, but quite nifty, foiling of the primary villain. In fact, it has every single element that you come to expect and adore in a Wilde production. At the same time, it does manage to deal with at least one very serious issue...that of the ideal. To expect that any person can be ideal and flawless is to set one's self up for disaster. One thing that struck me was the way Wilde wrote his stage directions. For each person as they enter the scene, he describes the type of art piece they would resemble. He had every physical trait and mannerism in his mind as he crafted these characters. I would love to see this play acted. I'm guessing it could be appreciated at one-step higher level seen on stage.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Soumen Daschoudhury

    I have been grinning all through the reading of this play! If there is a definition of satire, this has to be it (forgive me my ignorance of not having read more of this kind). I have always respected sarcasm because it is one of the wittiest forms of intelligence and if I may take the liberty to say so, a remedy to the plain and dull way of general life. And Oscar Wilde immerses you in it, completely, and you would rather choke on the drollness of his language than struggle to breathe the unem I have been grinning all through the reading of this play! If there is a definition of satire, this has to be it (forgive me my ignorance of not having read more of this kind). I have always respected sarcasm because it is one of the wittiest forms of intelligence and if I may take the liberty to say so, a remedy to the plain and dull way of general life. And Oscar Wilde immerses you in it, completely, and you would rather choke on the drollness of his language than struggle to breathe the unembellished procedural air above. His extravagant descriptions are a celebration of words. “Mabel Chiltern is a perfect example of prettiness, the apple-bosom type. She has all the fragrance and freedom of a flower. There is ripple after ripple of sunlight in her hair, and the little mouth, with its parted lips, is expectant, like the mouth of a child. She has the fascinating tyranny of youth, and the astonishing courage of innocence. To sane people she is not reminiscent of any work of art. But she is really like a Tanagra statuette, and would be rather annoyed if she were told so.” Oh and there is a plot too; of deceit, of blackmailing! Sir Robert Chiltern is one of the richest and most respected gentlemen, of considerably high stature in the London society and an unblemished eminent individual in the political circle so much so to be a proposed member of the Parliament. Yet, his reputation, his entire political career, his future and more importantly the undying love and respect of his wife vacillates on the thinnest of threads orchestrated by the guileful Mrs.Cheveley. She harbors in her breast, a devastating secret of which the society is yet to be educated. So, would Sir Robert Chiltern hold his fort of honor and see his life wasted or would he yield in to the foxy scheme of Mrs.Cheveley – only if things were so easy! “Sir Robert Chiltern: To attempt to classify you, Mrs. Cheveley, would be an impertinence. But may I ask, at heart, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions left to us nowadays.” Enter Lord Goring, a charming dandy of great fortune who is equally reputable but for his unmistakable competence in his indolence and unconcern; for him a matter of pride. Ladies are beguiled by his presence in spite of his glorified love for himself; his father’s tongue for him is not so eloquent though. His love for Mabel Chiltern, Sir Robert’s sister is undisclosed to her though her’s for him is loud and prominent. “Lord Goring: You see, Phipps, Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people. To love oneself is the beginning of a life time romance, Phipps.” Sir Robert Chiltern considers him a dear and trustworthy friend and pours his heart out on his mystifying dilemma. What follows is a comical Shakespearean circus of confusion which would be welcomingly applauded on a real stage – comical for the readers, tragic for the characters. Oscar Wilde is a master of wit. Reading ‘An Ideal Husband’ brings to life a forgotten era of Lords and Viscounts, of long flowing skirts, uncomfortable layers of clothing, of ornate bonnets, of unreal wigs, the affectation of verbal soliloquies, the silverware and the annoying docility to indignation among others. For our generation and the one’s arriving, this polished multitude is or would be more incredible than the speaking lion from the Chronicles of Narnia. I could only try to imagine being teary from the sporadic bursts of laughter if I ever had the following kind of conversation with my father, and my father? He would only be assured that after all, I am a lunatic. “Lord Caversham: Want to have a serious conversation with you, sir. Lord Goring: My dear father! At this hour? Lord Caversham: Well, sir, it is only ten o’clock. What is your objection to the hour? I think the hour is an admirable hour! Lord Goring: Well, the fact is, father, this is not my day for talking seriously. I am very sorry, but it is not my day. Lord Caversham: What do you mean, sir? Lord Goring: During the Season, father, I only talk seriously on the first Tuesday in every month, from four to seven. Lord Caversham: Well, make it Tuesday, sir, make it Tuesday. Lord Goring: But it is after seven, father, and my doctor says I must not have any serious conversation after seven. It makes me talk in my sleep. Lord Caversham: Talk in your sleep, sir? What does that matter? You are not married.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lena K.

    This play is pure fun (if you're into biting sarcasm)! This play is pure fun (if you're into biting sarcasm)!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea AKA Catsos Person

    eAudio from the library Catching The Classics Group BOTM: Short Story Selection (Though actually it is a play) Classic Bingo 2017: B2 Classic Comedy or Satire This is the third example of Oscar Wilde's writing for me and I really liked it. eAudio from the library Catching The Classics Group BOTM: Short Story Selection (Though actually it is a play) Classic Bingo 2017: B2 Classic Comedy or Satire This is the third example of Oscar Wilde's writing for me and I really liked it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Edlira Dibrani

    I LOVE READING OSCAR WILDE´S BOOKS. This one is actually amazing <3 I quite enjoy reading his books. And this was beyond amazing. ``Mrs.Cheveley:Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analysed, women . . . merely adored.`` ``Lord Goring: I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about.`` ``Lord Goring: Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn´t so, life wouldn´t be worth living.`` ``Lady Chiltern: And h I LOVE READING OSCAR WILDE´S BOOKS. This one is actually amazing <3 I quite enjoy reading his books. And this was beyond amazing. ``Mrs.Cheveley:Ah! the strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analysed, women . . . merely adored.`` ``Lord Goring: I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about.`` ``Lord Goring: Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn´t so, life wouldn´t be worth living.`` ``Lady Chiltern: And how I worshipped you! You were to me something apart from common life, a thing pure, noble, honest, without stain. The world seemed to me finer because you were in it, and goodness more real because you lived. And now-- oh, when I think that I made of a man like you my ideal! the ideal of my life!`` ``Lord Goring: To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance.`` ``Mrs.Cheveley: Oh, there is only one real tragedy in a woman´s life. The fact that her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.`` And my favorite from them all ::: IT IS NOT THE PERFECT, BUT THE IMPERFECT, WHO HAVE NEED OF LOVE.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen from Quebec :0)

    Awesome! I have been putting this one off for a bit, as it is a play, not a novel like I originally thought; so I got the audio to accompany my book, and it was splendid! At times full of sorrow, at times hilarious! It reminded me of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the way that everything gets mixed up among all the couples in the play! In the end, it is a tale of faithfulness, love, friendship and morality. Well done! "Jolly Good" AND/OR "BRILLIANT", as the Brits would say! ---Jen from Quebec :0 Awesome! I have been putting this one off for a bit, as it is a play, not a novel like I originally thought; so I got the audio to accompany my book, and it was splendid! At times full of sorrow, at times hilarious! It reminded me of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the way that everything gets mixed up among all the couples in the play! In the end, it is a tale of faithfulness, love, friendship and morality. Well done! "Jolly Good" AND/OR "BRILLIANT", as the Brits would say! ---Jen from Quebec :0)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    “Ah! I prefer pluck. It is not so common, nowadays, as genius is.” Witty and charming, assuming you ignore some really dreadful and outdated sexist concepts. Those I could stab in the eye, but Lord Goring and Lady Mabel's repartees were delightfully nonsensical. While it's not The Importance of Being Earnest, it's still a nice diversion. Lord Goring: [Triumphantly.] No; that was a flash of genius. Mabel Chiltern: Your first. Lord Goring: [With determination.] My last. Stabby, stabby: "A man’s life is “Ah! I prefer pluck. It is not so common, nowadays, as genius is.” Witty and charming, assuming you ignore some really dreadful and outdated sexist concepts. Those I could stab in the eye, but Lord Goring and Lady Mabel's repartees were delightfully nonsensical. While it's not The Importance of Being Earnest, it's still a nice diversion. Lord Goring: [Triumphantly.] No; that was a flash of genius. Mabel Chiltern: Your first. Lord Goring: [With determination.] My last. Stabby, stabby: "A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions." The theme of unrealistic expectations that we place on our intimates, the burden of judgement instead of forgiveness, and ease in which miscommunication can blossom wildly out of control are all well done. That said, I'll be absolutely judgmental and unforgiving: I need better quality friends because while I have the occasional engaging word play for the most part it seems everyone's forgotten the art of conversation. It's not moaning and whining about everything. Life updates are good and have a place, but aim higher. Amuse me. Otherwise, why am I bothering. "My prizes came a little later on in life. I don’t think any of them were for good conduct."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    2019 REREAD: I still love this absolutely fantastic play. Dishearteningly, I had forgotten most of the plot since reading it for the first time, so it was wonderful to refresh myself with Lord Goring and Mabel Chiltern’s flirtatious, witty, and incredibly sweet romance; Sir Robert’s dark political secrets; Mrs. Cheveley being a cold, manipulative cow...and Oscar generally giving some hilarious and semi-accurate views on society! All Oscar’s plays - this one in particular - is split into two sectio 2019 REREAD: I still love this absolutely fantastic play. Dishearteningly, I had forgotten most of the plot since reading it for the first time, so it was wonderful to refresh myself with Lord Goring and Mabel Chiltern’s flirtatious, witty, and incredibly sweet romance; Sir Robert’s dark political secrets; Mrs. Cheveley being a cold, manipulative cow...and Oscar generally giving some hilarious and semi-accurate views on society! All Oscar’s plays - this one in particular - is split into two sections: the actual plot, and the hilarious, unique social commentary. Both can be enjoyed immensely in An Ideal Husband. What’s not to love about this gold? ORIGINAL REVIEW: As a fairly big fan of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, I treated this new favourite how Chris Tarrant would to a new million pound winner. The show’s victory theme tune was screaming itself inside my head as I was writing very large letters in my reading journal saying “FANTASTIC, FANTASTIC, FANTASTIC!”. 5 absolutely glowing stars for Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. I was not expecting to appreciate this play as much as I did - that is a terrible cliché, I know - and would never have predicted that rating! (We are now in April and of the 23 books I have read this year, this is the second rating to exceed 4 stars. That says it all.) This is my second Oscar Wilde: I have read The Importance of Being Earnest twice and hope to read it again and again for many times to come; I really loved it. (The last time I read it, it was immediately after finishing Middlemarch! A lovely antidote.) However, I suspect that I now PREFER this one to The Importance of Being Earnest for a few reasons: the main explanation is that I had a few tiny issues with Earnest due to how my enjoyment and interest always tends to slightly taper towards the last act, as it does grow a little more tedious and a bit TOO bonkers for my liking. (I know that it is Oscar Wilde - I can hardly complain about the bonkers parts and usually I love them - but the ending to Earnest went the tiniest bit too far.) That was not the case here and I am really elated that I have found a new favourite in The Ideal Husband and that it will push me to read even more of Oscar Wilde’s fab stuff. Very briefly, this play was published in 1895; it is Oscar Wilde’s second most popular and adapted play, after Earnest; it spans over (I believe, though I may be wrong) a 24-hour period. It follows a very wild (no pun intended) and extravagant society in the England of Wilde’s time and, without giving too much of the plot away, it follows the trials and tribulations of people maintaining their honour and good name among civilisation, to what extent a person can be ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ (particularly when it comes to relationships), and also forgiving people for the past and how entirely unnecessary it is to hold past against people and use it to define them entirely. These themes sadly reflect Oscar Wilde’s personal life at the time because he wrote this during a then-secretive homosexual affair, prior to his arrest for ‘gross indecency’. Being forgiven for past sins and how ridiculous it is to be persecuted for people’s ignorant reactions were subsequently themes very relevant to Wilde. Despite how caricatured Wilde’s plays usually are (for good reason, as that enhances the reading/viewing experience completely), these themes actually are conveyed and expressed in a quite serious way and this is easily understood considering the context of what Oscar Wilde was suffering when he wrote this. Alongside the poignance of the historical relevance, this play was just so satisfying and wonderfully written. His writing style is so typical of the classic genre: it is so authentic yet also is very quirky, quite satirical, and witty in a very lively fashion. It works perfectly! This book certainly wins the “How Many Annotations Can A Book Have Made Upon Them By A Reader” award. Thankfully, I was reading this on my Kindle and so the opportunity was at my fingertips to highlight loads. Here are just a few of my favourite quotes: (Unless otherwise specifically specified, I do NOT personally agree with these quotes! Oscar Wilde is more for comedy rather than philosophy.) “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.” “An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship. It starts in the right manner.” (this one could actually be one worth remembering!) “The higher education of men is what I should like to see. Men need it so badly.” Amusingly, that is one of the MANY rather male-sexist quotes in this play. Before those men more sensitive than me become appalled, just look at this next quote... “A man’s life is of more value than a woman’s. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions.” Haha. It made me chuckle how both men AND women could probably look at this play and complain of sexism towards their gender. (So don’t complain, either of you.) “I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don’t talk politics.” “I used to think ambition the great thing. It is not. Love is the best thing in the world.” (the one genuine quote in the whole entire play! This one definitely has its arguments for people to agree with it.) “One should never give a woman anything that she can’t wear in the evening.” A magnificent author who I once had the incredible luck to meet once said to me ‘people would go to see Oscar Wilde’s plays and laugh at them without realising they were laughing at themselves’. Certainly an arguably true thought, though definitely much more true for Oscar Wilde’s era rather than our era. Additionally, the characters brought me so much joy in this play, particularly that of Lord Goring. Lord Goring was very flamboyant (who isn’t when it comes to Oscar Wilde?) but for all the right reasons. It was he who stood by Sir Robert Chiltern during all the awkward circumstances; it is he who understood the necessity of forgiving him for his past and not holding it against him as everyone else looked like they were about to do. Lord Goring also is very charming and flattering toward another character in this play called Mabel: they were a rather attractive pair and had a lot of chemistry on page/stage. Above all, Lord Goring’s finest hour was without a doubt towards the end when he got his own back on that vile Mrs. Cheveley. Mrs. Cheveley...what an annoying woman! Not only was Oscar Wilde master of the classic play, he was also master of the maddeningly irritating character. There are plenty of moments in this play during which one wants nothing more than to absolutely strangle her, which just proves how invested the reader is in the other characters: you never want Mrs. Cheveley to ruin it all for them. All I have to say is that if the ‘annoying-character’ tactic makes the play memorable and more worth it (once that character gets what is coming to her), it thus must be used and hats off to Oscar Wilde for doing it so well. Other relatable characters were Sir Robert Chiltern. Yes, he had a slightly immoral past but he was seriously prepared and desperate to move on from it and that can be rare in people these days. He definitely had flaws, since he was not entirely prepared to suffer the consequences of what he had done, but I liked him and understood him very much indeed. The lively and hilarious characters in this play added to what was an already very heartwarming and excellent story. The characters were gold; the dialogue was gold; the plot was gold...this whole play was gold and I would recommend this strongly to anybody who enjoys classics and/or plays. Both this one and The Importance of Being Earnest I would highly recommend to lovers of the those genres. It is so much fun and such a superb read. One of my favourite books of the year so far.

  26. 4 out of 5

    El

    (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) One of my bigger problems in life is the inability to read certain texts I know have been turned into movies starring Rupert Everett and not picture him as the star as I read. It's Rupert Everett 24/7 in my head. It's to the point now where even the Oscar Wilde plays I read that weren't turned into Rupert Everett movies are unable to be read without imagining Rupert Everett. I'm broken inside! However, if you've seen the movie and you've read th (Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.) One of my bigger problems in life is the inability to read certain texts I know have been turned into movies starring Rupert Everett and not picture him as the star as I read. It's Rupert Everett 24/7 in my head. It's to the point now where even the Oscar Wilde plays I read that weren't turned into Rupert Everett movies are unable to be read without imagining Rupert Everett. I'm broken inside! However, if you've seen the movie and you've read this play, you'll see there are some differences. The movie doesn't even mention the brooch! I'm slowly running out of things to say about Wilde as I read him. The situations he wrote about are all pretty similar (at least so I've noticed thus far), but it doesn't make them any less enjoyable to read. He wrote wicked scandals; I wonder how much he drew from personal experience when writing these plays - this one in particular. Interestingly, it was during this play's run that Wilde was arrested for being gay and, according to Wikipedia, the actors in the play were used in the trial as witnesses against him. Ouch. I can't help but love Wilde's characters, even the shitty ones. You know they're nasty but you can't help it since they're so... quippy. "But it is after seven, father, and my doctor says I must not have any serious conversation after seven. It makes me talk in my sleep." "LORD CAVERSHAM: And it is high time for you to get married. You are thirty-four years of age, sir. LORD GORING: Yes, father, but I only admit to thirty-two -- thirty-one and a half when I have a really good buttonhole. This buttonhold is not... trivial enough."

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Lentz

    Surely, this is one of the most hilarious comedies ever written by anyone. Every page of the script offers up lines of pure, gracefully articulate wit. Wilde's insight is prodigious and relevant as it could have been written as easily about Wall Street as London of 1895: "Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune." This is the playwright who, when passing through customs into Canada, was asked if he had anything to declare and replied, "Only my genius." The movi Surely, this is one of the most hilarious comedies ever written by anyone. Every page of the script offers up lines of pure, gracefully articulate wit. Wilde's insight is prodigious and relevant as it could have been written as easily about Wall Street as London of 1895: "Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune." This is the playwright who, when passing through customs into Canada, was asked if he had anything to declare and replied, "Only my genius." The movie with Rupert Everett is spectacularly funny. Wilde has the ability to criticize high society so cleverly that the paradoxes he frames almost seem a compliment. "Fashion is what wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear." And this one: "Vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people." And this great truth: "Sooner or later we all have to pay for what we do." Wilde was a real genius. I strongly recommend that you read his play.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Missy J

    Very entertaining, witty and fun to read! Oscar Wilde in his true element! This play revolves around the themes of personal and public honor, forgiveness, society's perception of success, gender relations, blackmail, reputation and political corruption. In less than 80 pages, the reader gets a glimpse into late 19th century London high society. Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife Lady Chiltern are hosting a dinner party when an unexpected guest arrives, Lady Cheveley. The ladies at the party immedia Very entertaining, witty and fun to read! Oscar Wilde in his true element! This play revolves around the themes of personal and public honor, forgiveness, society's perception of success, gender relations, blackmail, reputation and political corruption. In less than 80 pages, the reader gets a glimpse into late 19th century London high society. Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife Lady Chiltern are hosting a dinner party when an unexpected guest arrives, Lady Cheveley. The ladies at the party immediately take a dislike to Lady Cheveley. Much to Sir Robert's chagrin, Lady Cheveley knows more about him and his past than his own wife Lady Chiltern. His relationship with his wife is put to the test, as well as his untarnished career. How will it all end up? For a play this was a joy to read. Wilde's characters are funny and charismatic. I couldn't help but think that Oscar Wilde himself was hiding behind the character of Lord Goring. Prior to this play, I've only read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I think I should read more Oscar Wilde, because there are a lot of interesting observations of society hidden in the characters' conversations and behaviors. One interesting idea presented in this play is how humans tend to put other humans, especially those most dear to them on a pedestal. Lady Chiltern idolized her husband's career and the reputation he held in society. Thus, he didn't want to shatter her lovey-dovey perception of him. Highly recommend this book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gorab

    Loved this very much due to humour and excessive sarcasm. Rating - 3.5/5 Favourite character - Lord Goring High point - Quotes Low point - Plotline In this small play, quotes are plenty. You'll find them in every conversation. In fact there is a dialogue between father and son where they talk only in terms of quotes :D Didn't know some of the famous quotes originated here. In spite of being a classic, the language is very easy to grasp. Surely going to read more by Wilde. Loved this very much due to humour and excessive sarcasm. Rating - 3.5/5 Favourite character - Lord Goring High point - Quotes Low point - Plotline In this small play, quotes are plenty. You'll find them in every conversation. In fact there is a dialogue between father and son where they talk only in terms of quotes :D Didn't know some of the famous quotes originated here. In spite of being a classic, the language is very easy to grasp. Surely going to read more by Wilde.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Enjoyable and witty.

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