Basil Hallward is infatuated and impressed by Englishman Dorian Gray's beauty, and therefore Dorian has been the subject of most of Hallward's oil paintings. While Dorian is posing for a full-length portrait, he meets Lord Henry Wotton, a materialistic man who shares his hedonistic world view, stating that beauty is the only truly important thing in life. Dorian is persuaded to this point and through a course of events sells his soul so that his portrait will wither and grow old, while his earthly body remains young and beautiful. When the wish is granted, Dorian lives a carefree life while his portrait ages, collecting the all the soul-corrupting sins he commits.
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Good book, terrible cover