"We are reading Lady Windemere’s Fan"

Wilde’s satirical play of marital infidelity and personal sacrifice, Lady Windermere's Fan opened in February 1892 at the St James Theatre, London. The line the Russian pupil reads out tallies with Sasha’s own cynical outlook on the conduct of others:  ‘ “The laughter, the horrible laughter of the world – a thing more tragic than all the tears the world has ever shed.”