Oscar Wilde was a genius wordsmith and this little compendium includes many of his finest gems along with a handy short biography of the man. My favourites are quoted below, with more to follow in future postings:
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years. Lady Dumbleton is an instance in point. To my own knowledge she has been thirty-five ever since she arrived at the age of forty, which was many years ago now.
Beauty is he wonder of wonders. It is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
She has exquisite feet and hands, is always a bien chaussee et bien gantee, and can talk brilliantly upon any subject, provided that she knows nothing about it.
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result.
As soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
The secret in life is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.
Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.
Ah, nowadays people marry as often as they can, don't they? It is most fashionable.
Good heavens! How marriage ruins a man! It's as demoralising as cigarettes, and far more expensive.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Oh, I love London Society! It has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.
(I don't know how to talk.)
Oh! talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.
We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only neccessities.
Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions.
Can't make out how you stand London Society. The thing has gone to the dogs, a lot of damned nobodies talking about nothing.
Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly.
We live in the age of the over-worked, and under-educated: the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
A man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.