Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde portraitOscar Wilde was a British writer born in Ireland. He  was a novelist, playwright, poet, and critic. His works have passed into the Public Domain and you can read his texts online at Oscar Wilde online. 

His plays include titels such as The Importance of Being Earnest, and his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is famous and topical to this day. Wilde is regarded as one of the most proficient writers in the English language.

Oscar Wilde was famous for his wit and creativity but he was also accused of plagiarims. Read more in the article from the Public Domain Review on On Oscar Wilde and Plagiarism


 

 

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A Picture of Dorian Gray


Read and/or listen to the full text A Picture of Dorian Gray at ESL-Bits

Oscar Wilde’s only novel takes a witty, philosophical, and harrowing look at our obsession with youth and the price we pay for it.

Dorian Gray is having his picture painted by Basil Hallward, who is charmed by his looks. But when Sir Henry Wotton visits and seduces Dorian into the worship of youthful beauty with an intoxicating speech, Dorian makes a wish he will live to regret: that all the marks of age will now be reflected in the portrait rather than on Dorian’s own face. His wish comes true. In exchange for this Dorian gives up his soul.

The stage is now set for a masterful tale about appearance, reality, art, life, truth, fiction and the burden of conscience (quote from ESL-Bits).

 


 
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Cover of the first edition From the Preface

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.”

“Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.”

“Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.”

“Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art”

“Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril”

“It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors ”

Oscar Wilde


The Canterville Ghost – part 1

Choose whether you prefer to read from a paper copy, or at ESL -Bits, where you are able to both read and listen to the story.

Section I


The Canterville Ghost 13
Image in public domain. Book from Project Gutenberg: The Canterville Ghost. Fetched from Internet Archive

Vocabulary
Look up the following words:

haunted –
punctilious –
honour –
dress for dinner –
rector –
parish –
purchase –
a belle –
refinement –
peerage –
Duke –
propose –
guardian – housekeeper – curtsey –
Tudor –
stained glass –

 


Discuss in groups of three or four,

  • Washington is fond of the peerage. What does that mean, and why is that regarded as a weakness?
  • What is Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent  and what impression is conveyed to the reader of the label?

Write down you answers and make a brief summary of the story behind the ghost at Canterville Chase.


The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

Image in public domain. Book from Project Gutenberg: The Canterville Ghost. Fetched from Internet Archive

Oscar Wilde‘s short story The Canterville Ghost is one of my personal favourites. The humour of the clash between the modern and the traditional, the old world and the new is still fun and a good read. It is a story with elements of comedy, tradegy and great compassion.

The Canterville Ghost is available to read and listen to through ESL -Bits, which is an online resource where you can read the text and/or listen to the stories at two different speeds.


You can find out more about the author Oscar Wilde  at  Biography.com,  BBC history, and the official website for Oscar Wilde.

 

 

 


The Canterville Ghost – part 1

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