The first night of The Importance of Being Earnest had been on St Valentine’s Day 1895, played to great success, and the play seemed destined to run and run. However, scandal soon engulfed Wilde, and the play was withdrawn on 8 May after 83 performances. The first American production closed after just one week. The first edition was published by Smithers some four years after the original production, incorporating some changes Wilde had made in the preceding months. The play has been Wilde's most popular and enduring work, revived on countless occasions (perhaps most famously by John Gielgud in 1929) and has been filmed twice.
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