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Oscar Wilde created his final and most lasting play, comic masterpieces of all time, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, in 1895. Considered one of the greatest THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a farce, playing with love, religion, and truth as it tells the tale of two men. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who bend the truth in order to add excitement to their lives. Jack invents an imaginary brother, Ernest, whom he uses as an excuse to escape from his dull country home and gallavant in town. Meanwhile, Algernon follows Jack's scam, but his imaginary friend, Bumbury, provides a convenient method of adventuring in the country. However, their deceptions eventually cross paths, resulting in a series of crises that threaten to spoil their romantic pursuits. Hailed as the first modern comedy in England, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is Wilde's most famous work. This collection also features two other plays that Wilde penned earlier in his career, LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN and AN IDEAL HUSBAND, that also display his ability to convey warmth and wit through his hilarious characters and their outlandish situations.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer, poet, and playwright. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, brought him lasting recognition, and he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era with a series of witty social satires, including his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. Terrence McNally is the author of numerous plays, including Love! Valour! Compassion! (winner of the Tony Award for best play), The Ritz, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, which was made into a feature film starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, and the books for the musicals The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman (winner of the Tony Award for the best book of a musical). Other successes include Lips Together, Teeth Apart and The Lisbon Traviata. McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also served as vice president for the Dramatists Guild, the national organization of playwrights, composers, and lyricists. He lives in New York City.