After watching the movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", I realized that I didn't know the stories behind the main characters. Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, the Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer and Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. Thus my quest to search out the books where they were introduced and read them. First on the list that I read was "King Solomon's Mines", Allan Quatermain, by H. Rider Haggard.
According to his friends and acquaintances, Dorian Gray is a lovely man in every way. Upon first seeing him, Basil Hallward becomes determined to paint his portrait. It is while sitting for him, that Dorian first meets and falls under the lure of Lord Henry Wotton. I disliked Henry from the moment he was introduced. He cared only for the luxuries of life. I'm not sure if describing him as a hedonist is correct. During the course of an afternoon he sways Dorian from his 'nice' lifestyle' to one bent on excess. It is during this afternoon that Dorian, while gazing upon his picture states that he wishes he would stay as lovely as his picture is at that moment and that the picture grow old. He even offers his soul in payment.
Once this comes to pass Dorian never accepts that he is at fault. He blames Basil for all the ills of his life. Dorian is the one who makes the choices of what to do each day and how to live with this salvation/curse. In my opinion he makes one bad choice after another. He should only blame himself. Even when he realizes that he can not continue this way and that he could redeem himself, he still blames Basil.
Contrary to my belief, Dorian continues to look at the painting through out his life. He becomes obsessed with it. Mistakenly, he believes that if he destroys his painting then he will have his life back as it would have been.
There is a lot more to the story that describes the many depravities of Dorian's life and the philosophies that Lord Henry continually uses to re-enforce chosen lifestyle. I liked the summary article for this book on the Wikipedia site.
I listened to this audio book while quilting, but at times wished I had the book in hand so I could re-read a few passages. I do have a copy of the book and will be passing it along to another reader.