’The horror, whatever it was, had not yet entirely spoiled that marvellous beauty’
Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The Picture of Dorian Gray was a succès de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895.
This definitive edition includes a selection of contemporary reviews condemning the novel’s immorality, and the introduction to the first Penguin Classics edition by Peter Ackroyd.