The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation

This week’s class is all about ‘Paintings, Mirrors and Monstrous Doubles in the Irish Gothic‘. This week’s class is on 22nd January at 10am and/or 7pm. You can sign up here (10am) or here (7pm).

In honour of the talk, I thought I’d share some of my favourite covers of one of the Irish Gothic’s most famous tales of the double: Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray. They really capture the true sense of ‘The sense of his own beauty came upon him as a revelation’.

As ever, Wordsworth classics comes in strong with this dapper gent and the impressive beard his alter ego is growing.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wordsworth Classics) eBook : Wilde, Oscar: Kindle Store

Wordsworth doesn’t stop there, it’s also coming for your dreams. To haunt them. I can imagine this Dorian out and about doing a bit of body snatching. With a jaunty air.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wordsworth Classics) by Oscar Wilde Paperback  Book 9781853260155 | eBay

Why only one Dorian? Clearly because this one has enough flair for both his real life self and his painting. Love the idea that the evil version is just… wearing a mask. Now THAT’S how you steal around the city having a secret, decadent, and debauched life.

Bad Picture of Dorian Gray Covers | BizarreVictoria

In this one, Dorian appears to be a werewolf. A scrubby, grimy, stubbly, macho werewolf. Very much capturing the essence of Dorian’s portrayal in the book. ‘Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold hair. There was something in his face that made one trust him at once. All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth’s passionate purity’.

The great question though… was lycanthropy Dorian’s greatest secret?

I love this one. The little monstrous Dorian playing peekaboo with puffed chest smarmy Dorian. Just waiting, waiting, waiting to be looked at. Then it’s all over for Dorian and his bizarrely tied cravat.

50 Very Bad Book Covers for Literary Classics ‹ Literary Hub

I bet you didn’t realise that Dorian Gray was a secret swashbuckler! I’m trying valiant to ignore the terrible haircuts, the worse swordplay and the fact that one of them looks like he’s severely constipated. But which one is Dorian? And what’s he doing?

I’ll leave you with one that I think actually works rather well. The echo of Narcissus. His undoing if found in his own gaze. Elegant. If you’re going to use a pre-existing art-work (Caravaggio’s Narcissus), why not something beautiful and allusive? After all, what two words better sum up the book?

The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

What’s your favourite Dorian cover? And do you agree with my picks!?

Published by SamHirst

This started off as a story blog to share the little fictions that I like to write but it's turned into something a bit more Goth! I'm Dr Sam Hirst and I research the Gothic, theology and romance and at the moment I'm doing free Gothic classes online! We also have readalongs, watchalongs and reading groups. And I post fun little Gothic bits when I have the chance. Find me on twitter @RomGothSam

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