Wilde Challenge

Hear no evil, speak no evil--and you'll never be invited to a party 

Join me in reading the great wit of Oscar Wilde, an author whose plays, short stories, poetry, novellas, essays and lone novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, have all become celebrated classics in their own right.

Choose a challenge level:
WILDE CARD - read any two works by Oscar Wilde
WILFULLY WILDE - read any four works by Oscar Wilde
WONDERFULLY WITTY & WILDE - read any six works by Oscar Wilde

*BONUS LEVEL* WILDE AT HEART - read all the works published in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde

Wilde Challenge Dates:  January 2011- February 1, 2012 -- no deadline to sign up, join in at any time.

All participants who complete their challenge goal (or surpass it) will be entered in a drawing to win a fine art photograph of Oscar Wilde's celebrated Parisian memorial site at Père Lachaise Cemetery. In true Wilde fashion, his large handsome tombstone in the shape of a sphinx (Egyptian art-deco style) is covered in lipstick prints, kisses that admiring visitors continue to bestow daily. I'm sure Oscar would approve, don't you agree?


1.) Sign up via comments and leave a link to your blog or Shelfari page if you have one (not required). Apologies to those of you who'd prefer a more sophisticated sign-up via Mr. Linky, but he and and I are not currently getting along.
2.) Feel free to tell us what you plan to read, no need to pre-select your titles or stick to a list, however.
3.) Make a post on your own blog (if you have one) about the challenge or simply post a link to the challenge. Feel free to lift the image above for your blog.

Each time you read a work by Wilde, please post a review (if you have a blog or a Shelfari account, etc.--can be a very casual review with a few impressions or comments) and link to it in the comments section here (I may create a Mr. Linky widget for this later if we get a lot of busy, enthusiastic readers). If you don't have a blog, just post your impressions in the comments section here.

Suggested Reading List (plays, novellas, novels, essays, short story collections, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (long poem) & poetry collections are all eligible).

Plays: A Florentine Tragedy, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, The Duchess of Padua, The Importance of Being Earnest, For the Love of the King, Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, La Sainte Courtisane, Vera or the Nihilists

Fiction (novels & novellas): The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Canterville Ghost, Lord Arthur Saville's Crime, The Portrait of Mr. W.H.

Short story collections: The Happy Prince & Other Tales, The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde

Essays: De Profundis, The Critic As Artist, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, The Truth of Masks- A Note on Illusion, Lecture to Art Students, The Decay of Lying: An Observation, The Rise of Historical Criticism, House Decoration, The English Renaissance of Art, Art and the Handicraftsman, 

Poetry: The Ballad of Reading Gaol, shorter poems are often compiled in anthologies or Oscar Wilde readers.

I highly recommend The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde published by Collins Classics. Dover Publications also has a great selection of volumes dedicated to Wilde's plays and poems at very affordable prices (beween $2-$4 a copy). I'm sure many of you with e-book readers can download many of these titles for free. You can also read Wilde online (plays, essays,  The Ballad of Reading Gaol & short stories) at The Literary Page free of charge.

Happy reading! Go Wilde!


  1. I am happy to be the first one to sign up for the Oscar Wilde Challenge-in the last few months I have read and posted on four of his short stories

    Short Stories of Oscar Wilde Reviewed on The Reading Life

    I hope a lot of people will participate

  2. Hi Mel, thanks so much for joining in! I love your blog, there's much to explore there (incidentally, I'm a huge fan of Japanese literature too!). I'm looking forward to reading more Wilde with you. Hopefully, we'll have more readers soon. I know several readers on Shelfari want to join, but they haven't signed up yet. I'll encourage them to be more vocal! :)

  3. I wasn't going to sign up for any other challenges- I've got enough going on with my current heaving TBR- but an Oscar Wilde challenge- how can I pass that up? I love Oscar. I've read a bit of him already- Dorian Gray, Earnest of course, The Canterville Ghost, The Happy Prince, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. There's so much more of course. I have a beautiful illustrated version of his fairy tales that I've always meant to read, and a big (but not complete) compendium. I'll see if I can get a wriggle on and read something else from him this year. I'll take a Wilde Card entry at this stage.


  4. Please count me in.


  5. I'm in and just started my blog--don't judge me! :) I'm new to this, so have patience while I figure it all out.


    I plan on reading (at the Wilfully Wilde Level)

    1. The Ballad of Reading Gaol
    2. The Importance of Being Earnest
    3. Lady Windmere's Fan
    4. De Profundis

  6. Welcome Louise, Rae Reads and Jennifer! Thanks so much for joining in! I look forward to reading lots of Wilde with you this year!

    @ Jennifer--welcome to the blogsphere too! Don't worry, no judging here whatsoever! :)

  7. @Louise--I love illustrated fairy tales. Is there a particular illustrator of the artwork in your edition? or are they by different artists? I love the work of Arthur Rackham.

  8. Awesome challenge. I am doing the Wilde Card level since I have already read quite a few of his works.

  9. Don't forget to post the links to your reviews here. I'll be offline for about two weeks (vacation!), but will look forward to following up with everyone's reading when I get back. :)

  10. I'm in!
    My link is here: Willfully Wilde.
    I'm not positive what I'll read, though, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Canterville Ghost will most probably be in there.

  11. I'm in! My computer recently died on me, so I can't make a post yet, but I will. I'll give you a link then.
    I'm going for Wonderfully Witty and Wilde

  12. Welcome Gina & Birdie! Happy you've joined us and look forward to seeing your Wilde reviews!

  13. Okay okay, I wasn't going to sign up for any challenges this year. And now in the last week I've been considering 2! Look what you're doing to me!
    I think I'll go in for the Wilfully Wilde level. I'll be doing a blogpost later about the two challenges I'm doing this year (also a Victorian Literature Challenge) over at: http://femalebookreader.blogspot.com

    But I already have a review posted on Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray: http://femalebookreader.blogspot.com/2011/02/reviews-in-twos.html

  14. Blogged about the challenge. Stop by: http://femalebookreader.blogspot.com/2011/02/challenge-me-will-ya.html

  15. Great to see you here, Ilevinso!Thanks for joining! I'm off to check out your post now. :)


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