Several reports at once here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the edition of The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde that I’ve got on Goodreads, so here’s the closest cover I could find.
The one I have is a Barnes & Noble edition from 1994, long before they were doing the leatherbound thing. (Which I found at a local used store.) It’s got this photo on the cover, but a bit smaller, and tinted slightly blue. And despite that it calls itself “Complete” it isn’t really complete. The things most people want to read are all there — Dorian Gray, the plays, and the short stories — and there’s a lot of poetry, though I haven’t bothered to look up if it’s all the poetry. (And it claims to have an introduction by George Bernard Shaw, but what it actually has is a letter from him to an early Wilde biographer recounting his own memories of Oscar Wilde. Which is far from being an introduction in any standard sense. It was interesting stuff (and in one place wonderfully useful to me) but not an introduction.) But there are only a handful of letters and essays. Which, for most people, is probably not much loss, because most people are likely to only want the fiction, whether in prose or play form.
And no, I haven’t read the entire thing cover to cover. It’s about 1200 pages, so that’s a lot of reading. But I have some reports on the individual pieces I have read. (And I plan to read more of the pieces later.) Read the rest of this entry →