I wanted to tell you about the beautiful illustrated and annotated edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray as compiled by the wonderful Nicholas Frankel. Then, I found a great review from last year’s Washington Post and thought it best to let Michael Dirda provide you with all the details.
What I wanted to add is that while this edition cost me $40 – and worth every penny! – there is a more economical option available now on Amazon for $10.36 (USD).
This is an important edition, not because it’s “uncensored” (it was not censored but extensively rewritten and expanded into a full novel in 1891), but because it provides us with access to a scholarly edition of Wilde’s original Lippincott’s story. The Picture of Dorian Gray was originally published in the American journal at the same time as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four (a fantastic whodunnit that takes place during Sherlock Holmes’ very explicit cocaine-fuelled bender). Frankel’s book is also a great snapshot of the Victorian fin de siècle.
If you love Oscar Wilde – and really, if you don’t like Oscar Wilde there must be something wrong with you! – then check out Frankel’s great book – hardcover or softcover. If you don’t believe me, then read Michael Dirda’s fantastic article.