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Encyclopedia > Lady Windermere's Fan
Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde.

Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St. James Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it is a biting satire on the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage. Oscar Wilde in his favourite coat. ... Oscar Wilde in his favourite coat. ... Comedy is the use of humor in the form of theater, where it simply referred to a play with a happy ending, in contrast to a tragedy. ... Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingal OFlahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, short story writer and Freemason. ... February 22 is the 53rd day of every year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The St. ... For other uses, see London (disambiguation) and Defining London (below). ... 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


The story concerns Lady Windermere who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs. Erlynne, to her birthday ball. Angered by her husband's unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs. Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs. Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. She sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save Lady Windermere's marriage.


Numerous characters in the play draw their names from places in the north of England: Lady Windermere from the lake Windermere, the Duchess of Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lord Darlington from Darlington. Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my [birth]right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages English (de facto) Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked... Windermere from the north. ... Map sources for Berwick-upon-Tweed at grid reference NT9952 Berwick-upon-Tweed from across the river Berwick-upon-Tweed, (pronounced Berrick) situated in the county of Northumberland, is the northernmost town in England, situated on the east coast on the mouth of the river Tweed. ... Several works of fiction have featured characters named Lord Darlington. ... This article discusses Darlington, England. ...


The play's Broadway premiere on February 5, 1893 at Palmer's Theatre was also the first Broadway performance for stage and screen actress Julia Arthur, who played the title role. Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... February 5 is the 36th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Julia Arthur, 1897 Julia Arthur (May 3, 1868 - March 28, 1950) was a Canadian-born stage and film actress. ...

Contents


Synopsis

Act I

The play opens in the morning room of the home in London that Lady Windermere shares with her husband. It is tea time and the Lady Windermere, whose birthday is that day, has a visit from a friend, Lord Darlington. She explains to him that she is upset over the compliments he continues to pay to her, though she is obviously not aware that he is infatuated with her. The Duchess of Berwick and her daughter, Lady Agatha, pay a call and are introduced to Lord Darlington, who leaves shortly thereafter. After sending Lady Agatha from the room, the Duchess informs Lady Windermere that her husband may be betraying her marriage by making repeated visits to another woman, a Mrs. Erlynne. Not only has Lord Windermere been making visits, but possibly may be giving Mrs. Erlynne large sums of money. Rumours of all of this activity has been gossip among London society.


Following the departure of the Duchess and her daughter, Lady Windermere decides to check her husband's ledger book. She finds the ledger in a desk and consults it to find that nothing appears amiss, though when she returns it to its place she finds another ledger book there; one with a lock. After prying the lock open, she finds it records large sums of money being given to Mrs. Erlynne. Lord Windermere enters to discover his wife has been looking at this ledger book. She confronts him and he cannot deny that he has had dealings with this woman, though he states that he is not betraying her, only trying to protect her from something that would cause great shame to her. He then requests that she send Mrs. Erlynne an invitation to her birthday ball that evening. Lady Windermere refuses, but Lord Windermere insists and writes out an invitation himself. Lady Windermere states that she will make a scene if Mrs. Erlynne appears to which Lord Windermere responds that it would be in her best interest to not do so. A ledger (from the English dialect forms liggen or leggen, to lie or lay; in sense adapted from the Dutch substantive logger), is the principal book for recording transactions. ... The word lock came from Anglo-Saxon loca = a secure enclosure. Currently lock has several meanings: A lock (device) is a mechanical fastening device which may be used on a door, vehicle, safe, or other container. ...


Act II

Act II opens in the Windermere drawing room later that evening during the birthday ball. Guests enter and are announced by Parker, the butler. Lord Windermere enters and asks Lady Windermere to speak with her, but she brushes him off. Lord Augustus Lorton (aka "Tuppy"), a friend of Lord Windermere's, enters and pulls him aside to inquire about Mrs. Erlynne, with whom he is friendly. Lord Windermere reveals that there is nothing untoward in his relationship with Mrs. Erlynne, though he has seen a great deal of her. Mrs. Erlynne arrives at the party and is greeted very coldly by Lady Windermere. A number of other guests are introduced to Mrs. Erlynne by Lord Windermere and his friends. Many of the women who meet her know of her reputation but are quite charmed by her. In British society, a drawing room is a room in a house where visitors may be entertained. ... // For other uses see Butler (disambiguation) The butler is a senior servant in a large household. ...


Lady Windermere and Lord Darlington discuss the situation of Mrs. Erlynne's arrival and Lord Darlington, angered by the revelation that Lord Windermere invited her against Lady Windermere's wishes, professes his love to her. Lady Windermere is taken aback by the revelation and further saddened when he announces that he will be leaving the next day and will likely never see her again. He begs her to join him and then takes his leave. On the other side of the room Mrs. Erlynne is discussing matters with Lord Windermere and she states that she intends to marry Lord Augustus but would require some money from Lord Windermere.


Lady Windermere, elated by Lord Darlington's confession and angered by Mrs. Erlynne's presence, desides to leave the house at once leaving a note to Lord Windermere that she is leaving him. When Mrs. Erlynne asks Parker where Lady Windermere has gone, he replies that she has left the house and has written a note to Lord Windermere. Upset by this, Mrs. Erlynne opens the letter and in a brief monologue reveals that she is Lady Windermere's mother and she did a similar thing twenty years previous. She takes the letter and exits to find Lady Windermere to save her from the same mistake she made herself.


Act III

Lady Windermere is discovered alone in Lord Darlington's rooms attempting to justify her actions in leaving her husband. Mrs. Erlynne appears and attemps to persuade Lady Windermere to return home to her husband and her child. After initially resisting, Mrs. Erlynne's imploring to return to her child finally breaks Lady Windermere's resistance. As they begin to exit the rooms they hear the voices of Lord Darlington and his friends including Lord Windermere. The two women hide themselves.


While the men are talking, Cecil Graham takes notice of Lady Windermere's fan (one given to her by her husband as a birthday present) lying on a table. He presumes, as do the others, that Lord Darlington presently has a woman visiting. As Lord Windermere rises to leave, Graham points out the fan to him. He is astonished to see his wife's fan and demands to know if Lord Darlington has her hidden somewhere and he refuses to leave until a search has been conducted. Lord Darlington refuses to allow a search and just as Lord Windermere asks again, Mrs. Erlynne reveals herself, to the astonishment of those present but especially Lord Augustus, and replies that the fan was picked up by mistake. Non-electric fan Household Electric Fan A fan has two purposes – to move air for creature comfort or for ventilation and to move air or gas from one location to another for industrial purposes. ...


Act IV

The final act opens with Lady Windermere lying on the couch of the morning room trying to decide how exactly to inform her husband of the exact circumstances of the previous evening. Her husband enters and they discuss the possibility of leaving London and then the discussion turns to Mrs. Erlynne whom Lady Windermere has forgiven and wishes to receive and whom Lord Windermere presently despises. Parker enters bearing a tray with Lady Windermere's fan and a note from Mrs. Erlynne. Lady Windermere insists that she see her despite her husband's protestations. Mrs. Erlynne enters and states that she shall be going abroad but asks that Lady Windermere give her a photograph of herself and her son, Gerard.


Lady Windermere leaves the room to locate a photograph and Mrs. Erlynne and Lord Windermere discuss the previous evening's events. The whole story is thus revealed: Mrs. Erlynne left Lady Windermere's father for a lover shortly after her birth. Sometime later, the lover left Mrs. Erlynne and she lived in poverty and under an assumed name. When it was announced that her daughter was to marry a wealthy man, she decided to blackmail Lord Windermere in order to make a living and possibly regain a position in society. Mrs. Erlynne begs Lord Windermere not to reveal her true identity but asks that she be allowed to keep the fan. Lady Windermere returns with the photograph which she presents to Mrs. Erlynne.


While Lord Windermere checks for the return of Mrs. Erlynne's coach, she and Lady Windermere discuss the events as well and Mrs. Erlynne pleads for Lady Windermere to not reveal the truth of the evening's events. Lady Windermere promises to keep the secret. As she begins to depart, Lord Augustus is announced. After he enters, Mrs. Erlynne requests him to escort her to her carriage which he does. Lord Augustus returns with news that she has cleared up the events of the evening, has accepted his proposal of marriage and they will live outside of England. Both Lord and Lady Windermere keep their secrets. Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my [birth]right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages English (de facto) Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked...


Film and television adaptations

Poster for 2005 film, A Good Woman.
Poster for 2005 film, A Good Woman.

The play has been the subject of numerous film and television adaptations. The 1925 silent film stars Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, Bert Lytell, Irene Rich and Edward Martindel. It was adapted by Julien Josephson and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The BBC also produced a version in the 1970s which is available on DVD as part of the The Oscar Wilde Collection: Stage Right series. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x661, 81 KB)A Good Woman film poster This image is of a movie poster or title card, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the movie or the studio which produced the movie... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x661, 81 KB)A Good Woman film poster This image is of a movie poster or title card, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the movie or the studio which produced the movie... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... Ronald Colman (February 9, 1891 – May 19, 1958) was an English actor. ... May McAvoy (September 8, 1899 - April 26, 1984), was a pioneer American silent film actress best known starring in Hollywoods first motion picture talkie. ... Irene Rich (born Irene Luther, October 13, 1891 in Buffalo, New York; died April 22, 1988 in Santa Barbara, California) was an elegant, melodramatic heroine of the silent screen who made occasional forays into sound pictures. ... Julien Josephson was the director of many plays during the silent era. ... Image:Ernst Lubitsch 2. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the publicly-funded radio and television broadcasting corporation of the United Kingdom (see British television). ... The official DVD logo. ...


A new film adaptation, A Good Woman was released in May 2005. Taking its name from the play's subtitle, A Play About a Good Woman, which may refer to Lady Windermere or Mrs Erlynne depending on which critic you believe, it stars Scarlett Johansson as the former and Helen Hunt as the latter character, with Tom Wilkinson playing 'Tuppy', or Lord Augustus. The setting has been switched to Italy in the 1930s, on the Amalfi coast. The film's director is Mike Barker. A Good Woman is a 2004 film based on the Oscar Wilde play Lady Windermeres Fan and directed by Mike Barker. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Johansson as Pursy in A Love Song for Bobby Long, 2004 Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984), is an American film actress. ... Helen Hunt at the premier of Cast Away Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born 15 June 1963) is an American actress. ... Tom Wilkinson Tom Wilkinson, OBE, born December 12, 1948, is an Oscar nominated English actor. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Amalfi coast. ...


A musical theatre version of the play was created by Noel Coward, under the title After the Ball. Musical theatre (sometimes spelled theater) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... Sir Noel Peirce Coward (spelling his forename Noël with the diaeresis was an affectation of later life, and Peirce is the correct spelling) (December 16, 1899 – March 26, 1973) was an English actor, playwright, and composer of popular music. ...


See also

Lady Windermere Syndrome This article is in need of attention. ...


References

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Lady Windermere's Fan

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikisource – The Free Library – is a Wikimedia project to build a free, wiki library of primary source texts, along with translations of source-texts into any language and other supporting materials. ...

Books

Wilde, Oscar. Lady Windermere's Fan. published in The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays. London: Penguin, 1940. ISBN 0140482091.


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Lady Windermere's Fan at AllExperts (314 words)
Lady Windermere's Fan is a play by Oscar Wilde, first published in 1892.
Taking its name from the play's subtitle, A Play About a Good Woman, which may refer to Lady Windermere or Mrs Erlynne depending on which critic you believe, it stars Scarlett Johansson as the former and Helen Hunt as the latter character, with Tom Wilkinson playing 'Tuppy', or Lord Augustus.
Numerous characters in the play draw their names from places in the north of England: Lady Windermere from Lake Windermere, the Duchess of Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lord Darlington from Darlington.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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