'The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.' When
Dorian Gray has his portrait painted, he is captivated by his own
beauty. Tempted by his world-weary, decadent friend Lord Henry
Wotton, he wishes to stay forever young, and pledges his very soul
to keep his good looks. Set in fin-de-siecle London, the novel
traces a path from the studio of painter Basil Hallward to the
opium dens of the East End. As Dorian's slide into crime and
cruelty progresses he stays magically youthful, while his beautiful
portrait changes, revealing the hideous corruption of moral decay.
Ever since its first publication in 1890 Wilde's only novel has
remained the subject of critical controversy. Acclaimed by some as
an instructive moral tale, it has been denounced by others for its
implicit immorality. Combining elements of the supernatural,
aestheticism, and the Gothic, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an
unclassifiable and uniquely unsettling work of fiction.