A Woman of No Importance



  • Oscar Wilde's society comedy, first performed in 1893at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Wilde wrote the lively first actin answer to criticisms that Lady Windermere's Fan lackedaction. In the story, Lord Illingworth decides to employ Gerald Arbuthnot,the son of a former mistress, whom he dismisses as "a womanof no importance". When Mrs Arbuthnot reveals to Lord Illingworthand Gerald that they are in fact father and son, Gerald demands thathis parents wed. Lord Illingworth is willing but Mrs Arbuthnot turnshim down. The play contains many of Wilde's best epigrams; Lady Hunstanton,says of Lord Illingworth, for example:
    I was in hopes he would have married Lady Kelso. But I believehe said her family was too large. Or was it her feet? I forget which.