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Oscar Wilde

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime

The story takes place in London, in the nineteenth century.

Lord Arthur Savile is a young man belonging to the English nobility, engaged with a woman, Sybil Merton, whom he is going to marry.

During a reception at Lady Windermere's, a cheiromantist, invited by those presents, begins to tell their hands, gaining their confidence. Also Lord Arthur's hand is told, but the cheiromantist refuses to tell in public what he discovered . Soon after, privately , he tells Lord Arthur that he will murder somebody.

Lord Arthur is completly upset. He leaves the reception and wanders in London for all night, coming back home only early in the morning. He sleeps a bit, and then he decides that he must fulfill his destiny before marrying Sybil, not to make her suffer.

He makes a list of all the people he knows, and decides to kill Lady Clementine, an old relative of him. He carries out a library research , finds a good poison to use, buys it at a chemist's and brings it to Lady Clementine as a medicine for her pains.

Then he leaves for Venice, where his brother stays with his yatch. He stays abroad for a while, then he receives the news of Lady Clementine's death. He cames back to London happily, but while paying Lady Clementine's a visit with Sybil, he finds out the poison, and understands that Lady Clementine died of natural causes.

So he decides to kill the Dean of Chichester. He goes to Count Rouvaloff's, a friend of revolutionary tendencies. This man gives Lord Arthur the address of Herr Winckelkopf, who sends an explosive clock to the Dean of Chichester on behalf of Lord Arthur. But also this try to kill a man fails , because the clock doesn't blow up.

Lord Arthur becomes very sad and upset. While he is walking on a bridge over the Thames, he meets the cheiromantist leaning over the parapet, and decides to kill him. So he seizes him by his feet and throws him into the river. The cheiromantist drowns, and everybody thinks he committed suicide. Lord Arthur is really happy, and can marry Sybil.

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