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Oscar Wilde: Art and Morality
A Defence of "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

written by "Mason, Stuart, 1872-1927"
...such a master of prose and scholarship as Pater should have written in terms of commendation of Dorian Gray is sufficient to prove how free from offence the story really is. In the original version of the story one passage struck Pater as being indefinite and likely to suggest evil to evil minds. This paragraph Wilde elaborated, but he refused to suppress a single sentence of what he had written. "No artist is consciously wrong," he declared. A similar incident is recorded as early as 1878. Shairp, the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, suggested some improvements in Wilde's Newdigate Prize Poem Ravenna. Wilde listened to all the suggestions with courtesy, and even took notes of them, but he went away and had the poem printed without making a single alteration in it. The Picture of Dorian Gray first appeared on June 20th, 1890, in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine for July. It was published in America by the J.B. Lippincott Company of Philadelphia simultaneously with the English edition of the same magazine issued by Messrs. Ward, Lock and Co. A few weeks before the publication of his romance Wilde wrote a letter to a publisher stating that his story would appear in Lippincott's on the following 20th of June, and that after three months the copyright reverted to him. The publication of Dorian Gray would "create a sensation," he wrote; he was "going to add two additional chapters," and would the publishing house with whom he was corresponding care to consider it? Unfortunately the letter bears no indication of the house to which it was sent. However, on the 1st of July in the following year The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in book form by Messrs. Ward, Lock and Co. In this form it contained seven new chapters. The binding was of a rough grey paper, the colour of cigarette ash, with back of parchment vellum. The gilt lettering and design was by Charles Ricketts. A sumptuous dition de luxe, limited to two hundred and fifty copies,...

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