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The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel, but what a novel Dorian Gray is a handsome young man who commissions a painting of himself by an artist named Basil Hallward. The artist is infatuated with Dorian, thinking the young man's beauty has brought about a major improvement in his art. When Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of the artist's, Dorian comes to love Lord Henry's worldview: that the only things worth pursuing are beauty, and a hedonistic abandon to please the senses. Dorian, in a whimsical moment, says he'd love to sell his soul to have Basil's painting of him age instead of Dorian himself. That wish is granted, and Dorian lives a life of debauchery, the results of which are reflected in the painting. But no matter how well you play the game, there's always a price to pay...
About the Author
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854. He wrote essays, poetry, stories, plays, and one novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray). He was something of a celebrity, known for dressing flamboyantly. He had a biting wit, which made him eminently quotable. He died in 1900 at the age of forty-six.