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Picture of Dorian Gray by  Oscar Wilde - Paperback - 1908 - from Maya Jones Books (SKU: 281655)

Picture of Dorian Gray

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Picture of Dorian Gray

by Wilde, Oscar

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  • Paperback
Collectible - Good/N/A
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Cerrillos, New Mexico
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About This Item

Paris: Charles Carrington, 1908. [1910]. One of Two Hundred Copies with Label. Publisher's tipped-in notice of publication's delay until 1910, with 1908 on title page. Professionally rebacked with gilt-stamped leather spine label. Paper french wrappers mounted over card wrappers, 312 pp., numerous plates under protective tissue. Engraved by E. Dege from illustrations by Paul Thiriat (uncredited). Covers stained and worn with chipping at edges and corners; edgewear and occasional small chips to leaves; page edges tanned, one page corner turned, faint finger marks to a few margins, dampstain to upper margins of last several pages. Mason 335. Size: Small 4to. Paperback. Collectible - Good/N/A.


The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock, and Company in April 1891. The story is often mistitled The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward.


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On Dec 13 2011, feeney said:
Within months of each other appeared two sensational first English novels: THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. The first was by Irishman Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900); the second by Anglo-Indian Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936). Both appeared in the same Philadelphia magazine in 1890. Both were then in 1891 quickly reworked, enlarged and issued as books. Both novels are about London painters, paintings, art and theories of art. Both have been made into excellent feature films. Both novels end tragically for their heroes, respectively pleasure-seeking Dorian Gray and war scenes painter Dick Heldar. *** Oscar Wilde preached that life imitates art, Rudyard Kipling the opposite. For Kipling (who grew up in artistic circles on both his mother's and his father's side) a good painter looked carefully at a scene then painted his memory of it better than what he had actually seen. Much traveled painter Dick Heldar notes that during his months in London he heard more admittedly competent painters talking at parties about painting than he ever saw evidence that they actually worked with canvases. That would have been the fashionable world of Oscar Wilde and his fanatic imitatators. It is, in a nutshell, instructive to read and compare THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. *** Dorian Gray is 20 at novel's beginning and 38 or older when on Wilde's novel's last page he is found in his locked childhood nursery deformed, hideous and dead, a knife in his heart and with his famous picture once again that of a beautiful, innocent 20-year old, looming in judgment above him. Gray's ten years older Ch. 19) friend Lord Henry Wotton very early on convinces a still innocent Dorian that his youth and beauty are his greatest assets. An agitated Dorian then wishes or prays that his body might remain young while a just completed adoring portrait would both age and display his moral developments -- instead of Dorian himself. Over time the picture and its changes for the worse became Dorian's conscience. *** Dorian got his wish. Despite sporadic, perhaps merely hypocritical efforts to be good, Dorian Gray does heartless deeds. He callously rebuffs Sybil Vane, a young, good, innocent actress who loves him and who then takes poison. Dorian Gray murders his onetime friend and admirer the painter Basil Hallward who created the picture that is Dorian's conscience. Over an 18 year period, Gray alienates most of the ostensbily correct, decent upper class people in London. His friends are always the worse for being his friends. *** At times throughout the novel's 20 chapters, a reader feels as if half the text is non-narrative, given over to philosophizing about morality and art, to discussing aesthetic theories and to giving hints at literary sources behind the decadent nihilism preached by Dorian Gray and his mentor Lord Henry Wotton. This didactic dimension of the novel is well summarized when Dorian Gray tells Lord Henry: "You would sacrifice anybody, Harry, for the sake of an epigram" (Ch. 18). ***THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY is good read. The narrative is undemanding, gothic, realistic, and moves forward, posed tableau following tableau with increasing speed. The didactic half, with its digressions into architecture, decadent French literature, tapestries and priestly vestments and far more demands close attention. The last ten chapters are shorter than the first ten and the pace of the narrative accordingly accelerates. This is above all a novel of conscience, religion, morals and the life of artists. It abounds in epigrams, smart sayings and repartee. -OOO-


Maya Jones Books US (US)
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Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilde, Oscar
Book condition
Used - Collectible - Good
Jacket condition
Charles Carrington
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Date published
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About Maya Jones Books

Based in the Ortiz Mountains near the old mining towns of Madrid and Cerrillos New Mexico, we feature general stock with a specialty in Latin American art, history and archaeology.From early October until the end of May, please visit us at the El Museo Cultural Winter Market in the Santa Fe Railyard District. (


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

having had the material covering the spine replaced. ...[more]
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the...[more]
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback.  Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for...[more]
spine label
The paper or leather descriptive tag attached to the spine of the book, most commonly providing the title and author of the...[more]

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