Dover Publications, Paperback, Abridged, 9780486421278, 64pp.
Publication Date: August 14, 2002
Outraged by the sexual perversity of this one-act tragedy, Great Britain's Lord Chamberlain banned "Salome" from the national stage. Symbolist poets and writers Stephane Mallarme and Maurice Maeterlinck among them defended the play's literary brilliance. Beyond its notoriety, the drama's haunting poetic imagery, biblical cadences, and febrile atmosphere have earned it a reputation as a masterpiece of the Aesthetic movement of "fin de siecle" England.
Written originally in French in 1892, this sinister tale of a woman scorned and her vengeance was translated into English by Lord Alfred Douglas. The play inspired some of Aubrey Beardsley's finest illustrations, and an abridged version served as the text for Strauss' renowned opera of the same name. This volume reprints the complete text of the first English edition, published in 1894, and also includes "A Note on Salome" by Robert Ross, Wilde's lifelong friend and literary executor. Students, lovers of literature and drama, and admirers of Oscar Wilde and his remarkable literary gifts will rejoice in this inexpensive edition.
Though he was publishing plays and poems throughout the 1880s, it wasn t until the late 1880s and early 1890s that his work started to be received positively. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was tried for homosexuality and was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. Tragically, this downfall came at the height of his career, as his plays, An Ideal Husband "and The Importance of Being Earnest, "were playing to full houses in London. He was greatly weakened by the privations of prison life, and moved to Paris after his sentence. Wilde died in a hotel room, either of syphilis or complications from ear surgery, in Paris, on November 30, 1900.