In true Faustian Tradition, The Picture of Dorian Gray tells the tale of a young man who sells his soul to the devil in return for youthful immortality, only to discover that the devil's bargain is no bargain at all. "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" When Dorian Gray is asked this question, he knows the answer. He has learned his lesson the hard way and has destroyed the lives of others in the process. The moral is inescapable, making The Picture of Dorian Gray more than merely a classic of Victorian literature. It is a classic of Christian literature also. This edition of Wilde's novel is edited by Joseph Pearce, author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, and contains critical essays that look at the work from a tradition-oriented perspective.
The Ignatius Critical Editions represents a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of "critical editions". As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of great literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to buy into the ideologies of secular fundamentalism.