Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Review: An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Description (from Goodreads):
A dazzling blend of farce and morality, this play explores human frailty and social hypocrisy. Sir Robert Chilton's secret is discovered and exposed. He is accused of having exploited government secrets for his own gain early in his political career. With this revelation from Mrs. Cheveley comes the threat of blackmail and the ruin of Sir Robert's career. Yet in order to be a successful blackmailer, one's own reputation must be beyond reproach.

My thoughts:
I bought this while I was in London and read this a while ago for the first time. Currently I've read for like 4 times. Reason for that is the fact that I am going to direct this play next fall. 

The Importance of being Earnest was familiar play for me when we started to discussing about doing 'An Ideal Husband' as a play. When I read this for the first time I right away knew that this would work well. There are many interesting characters and the relationships between them are complex and interesting to follow.

Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful and respected man in the Victorian Society of London. He is the under-secretary of Foreign Affairs and whatever he does turns into profit. His wife, Lady Chiltern, idolizes her husband and keeps him in a high pedestal. When Mrs. Cheveley, a woman from Lady Chiltern's, and suprisingly also from Sir Robert's past, comes to London she causes some problems to the ideal life of Lady Chiltern and Sir Robert.

Mrs. Cheveley knows a secret from Sir. Robert's past which could destroy the entire career of Sir Robert. She blackmails Sir.Robert and promises to declare his secret to the public is he does not do what she says. Lord Goring, a dandy bachelor, is prepared to help his friend Sir Robert and he knows exactly how he will do it. 

When Lady Chiltern hears about dark past of Sir.Robert she declares that she cannot love her husband anymore. She feels deceived and hurt, she has lost her Ideal Husband. Luckily Lord Goring does the right actions in this case too. Can Lady Chiltern forgive her husband? Can she love him as she loved him before? Is Sir Robert's career destroyed? Does Mrs. Cheveley get want she wants? Can Lord Goring save the day? Read 'An Ideal Husband' and find out.

I am so looking for to work with this play. One of the things I especially love about this play is the fact that it takes place in the high society of Victorian London. I can't wait to see all the costumes and other stuff we will have for this play. I will probably update the progess as it goes on. 

Has anyone seen 'An Ideal Husband' performed as play? Has anyone seen the movie?


  1. Very good review! It's so cool that you're doing the play, lucky girl.;) I haven't see the play on stage, or the movie, but I would like to see at least the movie. It's on my to-be-watched list, anyway.

  2. I really want to see the movie too, but I haven't found it. I tried to order it from play.com, but apparently they did not have it even though it said that they do. I really want to see the movie before we have the play.


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