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Introducing: Dorian Gray

Last week we revisited Dr. Ho Fei for a TV-show inspired Halloween costume idea; this week we go for a good old-fashioned book-inspired character costume idea—specifically, the one and only Dorian Gray.

Wilde published The Picture of Dorian Grey during the “Gay Nineties”—that is, the 1890s, during the reign of Queen Victoria in England. It gained quite a bit of criticism for being indecent and faced censorship, with an uncensored version only published more than 100 years later (read about it at Harvard University Press). For a work that is generally considered a Great Classic of English Literature, it is surprisingly approachable, assuming you are a fan of, or can at least tolerate, the gothic genre. To this day, it remains very relatable, not to mention highly quotable.

“With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized.”

—page 9

How it got published: Amidst great controversy
Rating: Timeless classic

If you want to dress up as Dorian Gray this Halloween, here are some props you will need:

  1. Fashionable Victorian outfit
  2. Obnoxious attitude
  3. Creepy painting to hold your soul while you go out and party
Frontispiece from the 1931 Three Sirens Press printing of the Picture of Dorian Gray, courtesy of Wikimedia

Wilde, Oscar. (1891). The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Ward Lock & Co. Read it for free


Review finished: September 3, 2019
Review published: September 5, 2019
Rerun: October 24, 2019

Published inClassics

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