Download The Importance of Being Earnest Audiobook

The Importance of Being Earnest Audiobook, by Oscar Wilde Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Oscar Wilde Narrator: John Gielgud, Edith Evans Publisher: Copyright Group Format: Audio Theater Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9781780001852
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The Importance of Being Earnest is undoubtedly Oscar Wilde’s best known play, probably due to its sharp wit that cannot help but enchant and entertain any reader, theatergoer, or listener. Here his economic and finely-honed words are delivered by a superb cast that is headed by England’s finest, namely Sir John Gielgud and Dame Edith Evans that help make this the ultimate listening experience for fans of classic theater.

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About the Author

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born in Dublin. He won scholarships to both Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1875, he began publishing poetry in literary magazines, and in 1878, he won the coveted Newdigate Prize for English poetry. He had a reputation as a flamboyant wit and man-about-town. After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish himself as a writer, but with little initial success. However, his three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, and A House of Pomegranates, together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an original talent. That reputation was confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal success of his society comedies: Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on London’s West End stage between 1892 and 1895. In 1895, he was convicted of engaging in homosexual acts, which were then illegal, and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor. He soon declared bankruptcy, and his property was auctioned off. In 1896, he lost legal custody of his children. When his mother died that same year, his wife Constance visited him at the jail to bring him the news. It was the last time they saw each other. In the years after his release, his health deteriorated. In November 1900, he died in Paris at the age of forty-six.

About the Narrators

Sir John Gielgud (1904–2000) is arguably the greatest Shakespearean actor of the twentieth century and one of the best overall actors of his generation. His theatrical career spanned more than sixty years, beginning with a role in the London production of The Constant Nymph and ending with Sir Sydney Cockerell: The Best of Friends in 1988. His film career spanned more than seventy years and saw him in such roles as the Pope in Elizabeth, Priam in Hamlet, Professor of Sunlight in Gulliver’s Travels, and Master of Trinity in Chariots of Fire.

Dame Edith Evans (1888-1976) was one of the UK’s finest stage actresses of the twentieth century. She made her professional debut in 1912 as Cressida in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, and went on to excel in the West End and on Broadway, as well as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1946 and granted three honorary degrees for the universities of London, Oxford, and Cambridge in the early 1950s. Once transitioning from stage to film, Dame Edith won a Golden Globe and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Whisperers, and earned three Oscar nominations throughout her career.