First Lines Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words.
What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
I found this meme through the lovely Frankie Lovely; you should definitely check her awesome blog out! ❤
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
From the corner of the divan of Persian saddlebags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs…
Read on to find out what book this excerpt is from!
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I’m just finished reading this, and I’m in awe- of Wilde’s writing prowess, of Dorian’s tragic unraveling, of Lord Henry’s “poisonous” theories. To be real, though, the “jewelled”, flowery, and occasionally circumlocutory writing style is so different from the modern voice that I’ve grown accustomed to.
I can definitely see how Wilde’s novel would have scandalized everyone in the 19th century.
Synopsis: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
with much love,