Lady Windermeres Fan

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Lady Windermere's Fan ( Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman ) is a social comedy in four acts by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde .

The first performance of the play took place on February 20, 1892 at St. James's Theater in London. Less than a year later, on February 5, 1893, Lady Windermere's fan was performed for the first time on Broadway at Palmer's Theater .


After twenty years of absence, Mrs. Erlynne, who once left her husband and child for her lover and was cast out from the "fine" society, returns to London. To be recognized by society again, she must frequent the house of the Windermeres, who are at the heart of London's high society. In order for her to receive an invitation to a party taking place there, Mrs. Erlynne reveals a secret to Lord Windermere: She is Lady Lytton, the mother of his wife, believed to be dead. To avoid a scandal, Lord Windermere then invited Mrs. Erlynne to the celebration.

Lady Windermere, however, suspects that her husband has a relationship with Mrs. Erlynne and goes to the house of Lord Darlington, who has confessed his love to her. Lady Windermere leaves her husband a suicide note, but Mrs. Erlynne finds it, who also goes to Darlington's house. While Mrs. Erlynne explains to Lady Windermere that she has by no means had a love affair with her husband, Lord Darlington and Lord Windermere also appear in Darlington's house.

The two women hide, with Lady Windermere leaving the fan she received from her husband as a birthday present on a table. Lord Windermere recognizes his wife's fan and demands an explanation from Darlington. While Mrs. Erlynne comes out of her hiding place and explains that she has taken the fan from the Windermeres house, Lady Windermere escapes undetected.

Film adaptations

Oscar Wilde's satire has been filmed several times. The first silent film version was made in England in 1916, directed by Fred Paul . Ernst Lubitsch shot another adaptation of the piece for the Warner Brothers in 1925 . A German film adaptation was published in 1935 under the title Lady Windermeres Fächer . Under the direction of Heinz Hilpert played Lil Dagover , Walter Rilla and Hanna Waag the leading roles. The Otto Preminger strip The Fan (1949) starring Jeanne Crain , Madeleine Carroll and George Sanders, which is not shown in Germany , is also based on Wilde. In addition to some film adaptations for television, Good Woman - A Summer in Amalfi by Mike Barker was released in 2004 , who moved the plot to the 1930s.

Radio plays

The first known radio play version of the piece was made on September 6, 1926. It was broadcast live by NORAG in Hamburg . There was a possibility of recording only from 1929. Under the direction of Hans Hansen, among others, Karl Pündter , Hedwig Herder , Edith Scholz , Hans Freundt , Edith Künzel , Lotte Schloß and Claire Goericke spoke .

Another live broadcast went on air on October 23, 1926. It was produced by Südwestdeutscher Rundfunkdienst AG (SÜWRAG), a forerunner of HR . Further details have not been handed down.


Based on motifs from Lady Windermeres fan , Karl Farkas and Peter Kreuder wrote a musical entitled The Lady from Paris , which premiered in Vienna in 1964 with Zarah Leander and Paul Hörbiger in the leading roles.

Also in 1954, first performed in London Musical After the Ball of Noël Coward is based on Lady Windermere's Fan .


  • Oscar Wilde: Lady Windermeres Fan. The story of a decent woman; Comedy in 4 acts . Reclam, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-15-008981-6 .
  • Oscar Wilde: Lady Windermere's fan. A play about a good woman . Reclam, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-15-009187-X .
  • Oscar Wilde: Lady Windermeres Fan (The Audiobook). Naxos, Berlin 1997, ISBN 962-634-111-4 (2 CDs).

Web links

Wikisource: Lady Windermere's Fan  - Sources and full texts (English)

English text output in Project Gutenberg