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Lady Windermere's Fan

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  11,763 ratings  ·  441 reviews
Beautiful, aristocratic, an adored wife and young mother, Lady Windermere is 'a fascinating puritan' whose severe moral code leads her to the brink of social suicide. The only one who can save her is the mysterious Mrs Erlynne whose scandalous relationship with Lord Windermere has prompted her fatal impulse. And Mrs Erlynne has a secret - a secret Lady Windermere must neve ...more
Paperback, 70 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin (first published 1893)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareWaiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Best Plays Ever
60th out of 596 books — 782 voters
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterHowards End by E.M. Forster
Downton Abbey-esque Books
44th out of 500 books — 859 voters

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Community Reviews

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Reading an Oscar Wilde play is sort of like life being perfect. The structure of the work is faultless, the dialogue is uber-clever and fantastic. What's wrong with Wilde? Nothing. He's perfect. I can't imagine any writer who wrote so beautifully in his native language. There are some people who are born with 'it' and Wilde is one of them. Of course for someone so perfect he would have to get involved in some nasty social business via his decade. But when you look back at Wilde, one realizes tha ...more
Wilde's wit never bores me, which is why he is one of my favorite authors. Below are a few quotations I particularly liked from Lady Windermere's fan:

"... scandal is gossip made tedious by morality."

"In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

"What is a cynic?...A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

"That is the worst of women. They always want one to be good. And if we are good, when they meet us, they
Vane J.
Well, it seems that my liking of Wilde's works follows a graphic like this one:

I am not kidding you. Every time I read another play, I think it's better than the one I read before. Perhaps I'm reading them in some particular order unknown to me, or my opinion is starting to get biased. In any case, I enjoyed this immensely.

This one involves more drama and problems than the plays I read previous to this one. It has a jealous wife, there's blackmailing, there are some misunderstood things that lea
I highly recommend finding Wilde's plays on audio and listening to them while driving early in the morning. Press play as you sit in your freezing car, spend the first scene in a shivering fit, then ease into the second scene all nice and warm and toasty, at ease enough now to chuckle or chortle or guffaw at the playwright's acerbic wit. Pause in the middle of an argument between the Windermeres to roll your window down and request through a metal box a concoction of glutinous egg, english muffi ...more
Franco  Santos
Todos estamos en el fondo de un pozo, pero algunos miramos las estrellas.

No soy aficionado a las obras de teatro, pero tengo que admitir que esta me gustó mucho. Escrita como solo Oscar Wilde podía hacerlo. El autor retrata harto bien la sociedad victoriana, con sus estilos y sus objetos. Muy bueno.

Tiene un final que no vi venir de ninguna manera.
I'm a sucker for femme fatale versus puritanical women stories especially when these are accompanied by the wit of Mr. Wilde
An upbeat reader
I extremely enjoyed reading this play. Oscar wilde is a shrewd writer and it is utterly noticeable in his works. Hence his wisdom is depicted within the plot, the characters, the speech and so forth. It is mighty interesting how he dealt with a daily problem in a penetrating way. The play is all about human nature and how people are used to exaggerate things, especially women(who are in love lol). How they keep nagging....Moreover how people judge others before truly knowing them; First the lady ...more
Karim Mohamed
من هي مسز أرلين ؟

المسرحية تتكلم عن شكوك الليدي وندرمير في زوجها لأنه يقابل مسز أرلين كثيراً ، من هي مسز أرلين تلك ؟
مسرحية عبقرية ، أفكار أوسكار مختلفة عن أي كاتب آخر ، له نفس الروح التي يتميز بها شكسبير
النهاية : و ما أدراك ما النهايات بالنسبة لأوسكار ، فهو يعشق النهايات الغير متوقعة

المتذمر .. هو رجل يعرف سعر كل شئ ، و لا يعرف قيمة أي شئ

I enjoyed reading this play, though the situations are so of their period that it can at times feel unrelatable to any modern person.
I have never seen a good performance of it. In fact, it has produced several of the worst stage productions I have ever seen. The play seems to lends itself to stilted acting and un-motivated action. Worse than that, is watching modern actresses who seem to confuse overt sexuality with flirtation, attempt to reproduce the witty and mannered seductions. And if that
Soumen Daschoudhury
Jun 24, 2015 Soumen Daschoudhury rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who worship wit and intelligence
Here I mark my salutation again; Oscar Wilde is a remarkably witty genius, a true observant and a sly story teller.

How easily he read not only the lips of society but the rationale hidden in their words, the cause for the effect and how beautifully he reverberates in his witty words, the incomprehensible fillers we miss in the thoughts behind the mouthing of the gaudy characters to submerge their ostentation and bring out the real ugliness or the real goodness. How sharpened his skills were as a
دراما اجتماعية عن الأفكار المسبقة التي يكونها المجتمع عن شخص ما، عن النفاق الإجتماعي وعن الثقة بين الزوجين.

لن تجد شخصية بيضاء أو سوداء، كلها متعددة الجوانب، تخطئ وتصيب، تذنب وتتوب. هذا جمال المسرحية، ناهيك عن المحادثات التي تنضح عبقرية وخفة ظل.

تدور أحداث المسرحية حول إنهيار ثقة السيدة ويندرمير بزوجها إثر علاقته الغامضة مع سيدة سيئة السمعة برزت مؤخرا في محيطهما الإجتماعي. أشد ما أعجبني هو إتقان وايلد لفن التشويق في المشهد اﻷخير للمسرحية، كما أبدع بإشراك القارئ في حيرة الشخصيات وترددهم إزاء إتخاذ
Edlira Dibrani
Reading Oscar Wilde is amazing.

This one seems to be a magnificent play.

It's about Margaret and her husban Arthur. It's a play within 24 hours.

It's Margaret's birthday and she has organized a ball. Her husband has been going with another woman and he has invited her in his wife's ball.

After knowing that her husband has been "cheating" her, she talks with her friend

"Margaret: Are ALL men bad.
Duchess of Berwick: Oh, all of them, my dear, all of them, without any exception. And they never grow any
Lidia Mascaró
A very quick read with nothing but splendidness. I was sort of reluctant to begin this book simply because I am more of a novel-person rather than a play-person. Placing my trust on one of my favorite authors, however, I decided to read it.

And of course, as usual after reading any of Wilde's works, I sit here dumbfounded as I wonder how this man managed to write things in such a way that no matter how terrible an opinion or point of view a character is expressing, it sounds convincing and enchan
God bless Oscar Wilde. Has anyone contributed as much to the conversation of otherwise dull people?
Lady Windermere’s Fan is a collection of catchy aphorisms loosely embroidering a fundamentally silly story. Oscar Wilde understood that the best marketing in the theatre world is to have people quote you, and so he built an entire play around the smart set tossing out modish epigrams like baubles from a Mardi Gras float.

This was the earliest successful Wilde play and it does show some rough edges. The main character, Lady Windermere, is an unappealing puritan, an unlikely target for her besotte
This was my first Oscar Wilde, and I have to say that I read it more quickly than I would have liked. I was trying to finish it before my Vic Lit book club (which I did) and I think later, I will wish I had spent more time reading the play and enjoying Wilde's writing. This is definitely something which I want to own and re-read, and it really made me want to explore more Oscar Wilde.

A lot of people probably think "homosexual undertones/overtones" when they're reading Oscar Wilde's work, but tha
Ya aviso que ésta probablemente será otra entrega de mi larga serie de “opiniones impopulares”. No soy fan del teatro de Oscar Wilde. El mayor problema creo que está en que Oscar Wilde es uno de los autores más citados de la historia. Has oído tantas veces citas suyas fuera de contexto que cuando las ves inseridas en su contexto original te suenan forzadas, falsas, metidas con calzador, “la gente nunca ha hablado así, soltando aforismos” dices. Otro problema que me cuesta digerir es que sus alta ...more
(Read as part of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.)

Like The Importance of Being Earnest, this play involves some dishonesties, some false pretenses, and so very little communication.

In other words, it's great fun.

I might have enjoyed this more than The Importance of Being Earnest, only because I knew that story going into it, and this was entirely new for me. While the situation is familiar and done to death (by now in the 21st-century), Wilde wrote with a freshness that is undeniable. Maybe it
I was going through some old books of mine & stumbled across this little gem. Re-reading it was, if possible, an even better experience than my first reading of it. Oscar Wilde's works are so tongue-in-cheek, they make me laugh every time :)
Joy H.
Jun 23, 2013 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 6/23/13.
I didn't read the play but I watched a 2004 film adaptation entitled A Good Woman.

WIKI SAYS: "A 2004 film adaptation, entitled A Good Woman, switched the setting to the Amalfi coast of Italy, made the Windermeres Mr. & Mrs., and updated the time frame to 1930. The film stars Helen Hunt, Mark Umbers, Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Tom Wilkinson."

More from the link above:
"The story
Oscar Wilde is truly the emperor of maxims and master of tragedies. 'Lady Windermere's Fan' was my first experience of the magical world of Wilde (if we don't count the much read, much loathed 'The Happy Prince ' that is!). A poignant play revolving around an insignificant fan, 'Lady Windermere's Fan' portrays so many things at once-the hypocrisy of the so-called British society, the fickle-mindedness of women, their tendency to be suspicious about anything they don't understand and the role of ...more
The trouble with this play for modern audiences is that one has to relate to Victorian morality for the satire to really work. Otherwise, it comes off as kind of stiff and frumpy for an Oscar Wilde work.

Redeeming this somewhat is that the play is stuffed to the gills with tasty aphorisms, quotes that you probably know but didn't know where they originated.

Ultimately it's a problem that the quotes hold up but the central plot doesn't. The ending is abrupt. Lady Windermere is unappealing. Many of
Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious. -- Oscar Wilde

The plot is about Lady Winderemere who goes from being a pillar of Victorian society to a woman of wandering morals. The woman who pulls her up is the one she suspected of being her husband's mistress. It's a comedy of society manners and morals with acerbic repartees and funny quips, in the great Oscar Wilde tradition.

Now, more than 100 years later, it still has a thought provoking dept
Sham Issa
First book I read for Oscar Wilde, although I've always been a fan of his quotes.
I found the play very amusing and utterly observant and smart, with remarks on the human nature and its tendency to label people and judge them. In the end, no one is entirely bad or entirely good, and nothing is supposed to be viewed in white and black shades exclusively.
I love the cynicism in it as well. Dumby and Cecil Graham are real entertaining characters, with that insightful conversation between the men in A
Not Wilde's best. The plot was pretty lame - done before, and with lots of those rom-com situations where you think "This would all be cleared up if they'd just talk to each other like normal humans" - but it's still Wilde, so it's still plenty fun to read and has lots of things you probably would have put as your high school yearbook quote if you'd read it back then.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

"Experience is a question of instinct about life."

"There's n
Rozhodla jsem se přečíst něco od milovaného Wilda. A neprohloupila jsem, tohle drama je super :)

Hajer Elmahdi
Oscar Wilde is as perfect, sarcastic wise and eloquent as they get.
Lady Windermere’s Fan, (Wilde never ceases to amaze me) is life lessons disguised as a play, one of the most important ones is, don't judge anyone before knowing the whole story. my only problem was that i've seen the movie "a good woman" too many times to count, i didn't know it was based on this play ( it takes place in a different era but same characters and plot ) so after page 10, it clicked and i already knew the ending (
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
I am very impressed by this work. The story was enthralling. The dialogue was superb. I loved the characters and thought they were very fleshed out. I love how Wilde keeps surprising you, not only with 'twists' but with human nature. He thinks people are basically good, and I appreciate that view. Very entertaining, very fascinating. Amazing!
Venkat Narayanan
There is this strange quality of perfectness in Oscar Wilde. The neat, wholesome and round perfectness in everything - the words, characters, wit and all the other things that makes his work so delightful.

Lady Windermere's Fan is one such book/play. I am not good enough to review Wilde as I madly admire his works.

«há momentos em que é preciso escolher entre viver a nossa própria vida, vivê-la plena, inteira, totalmente… e continuar a levar a existência falsa, vazia, degradante que o mundo, na sua hipocrisia, exige.» (p. 52)
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2015 Reading Chal...: Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde 1 9 Oct 18, 2015 09:36AM  
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E ...more
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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” 34733 likes
“I can resist anything except temptation.” 3441 likes
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