The Happy Prince and Other Tales (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) Hardcover – 1 Oct 1995
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|Hardcover, 1 Oct 1995||
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'The Puffin Classics series is a perfect marriage of the old and the new. Enjoy some of the best books from the past and find out why and how they inspired some of the best writers of the present. - Julia Ecclesshare, Lovereading4kids' - Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin, the second son of charismatic parents, his father a surgeon, his mother a poet. Ungainly and awkward as a child, he won an open scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, and went from there to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a First in Greats, won the Newdigate Prize for Poetry and announced that 'Somehow or other I'll be famous, and if not famous, notorious'. In London he set about establishing himself as a poet and wit, and when Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "Patience" toured the USA in 1882 he was invited to give a speech before every performance so that American audiences could recognize the 'perfectly precious young aesthete' satirized in the character of Bunthorne. This brought him both celebrity and money, and in 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, by whom he had two sons.He began writing fairy tales while working as editor of "The Lady's World," and "The Happy Prince" was published in 1888. His first play, Vera, had been a failure, but in 1892 "Lady Windermere's Fan" was staged with great success. This was swiftly followed by three other enomously successful comedies, the most famous being "The Importance of Being Earnest "(1895). Wilde died in France, aged only 46. His plays remain as popular today as ever before.Although he read his fairy stories to his two young sons, he claimed they were ' . . . not for children, but for childlike people from eighteen to eighty'.
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Top Customer Reviews
I also have the Gielgud version of the stories on 2 CDs from Nimbus - and while Gielgud can't be touched in Shakespeare, where he did much and many fine readings for Caedmon (Harper-Collins as it is now) but Anton Lesser is far more accomplished in these simple direct tales. I also think the music selections are more appropriate - in particular the choice of Tchaikovsky's broken heart music from his Serenade for Strings mirrors sensitively the story of the golden hearted prince.
Long practice and hard work conveying and bringing to life the Victorian world of Charles Dickens' novels and characters has burnished his voice and characterisations across a wide range so he can fearlessly and effortlessly bring out the different voices in Oscar Wilde's tales. All this experience in simple direct story telling pays off handsomely.
Above all this, there is in Lesser's voice a burning sincerity, and enthusiasm in his narration, whereas Gielgud seems to me to be rather veiled and reticent - even distant and disinterested. Certainly there is a far greater tone of commitment in Lesser's work.
This version is the one to get - and its down to the art and artistry of Anton and the genius of Oscar. Totally enchanting.
I first read this collection of short stories when I was about 18, and they delighted me. My favorite was, and still is, The Selfish Giant, which has been made more than once into a short animated film, and more recently into a feature length movie.
He did know his theology, but also how to apply it. He knew how to see past all the religious trappings, and see the heart of the One it's all about. And he does it with a the style of a storyteller with a sense of humour.
This is one of those timeless classics that can be read by adults or too children.
I loved this book and I loved all the stories within it, but I couldn’t help noticing a recurring theme throughout.
There seems to be an extraordinary lack of faith in humans. Most of these tales contain hard and unfeeling characters that disregard the fragile feelings of others. Some are moral tales, the recurring moral being that life is tough and people are tougher. Sometimes the moral seems to be that ignorance is bliss.
Perhaps this is just my interpretation of it.
This book portrays the harsh reality of people, there is no fluffy story telling and some of the stories are downright heartbreaking.
The tale of the happy prince and The Nightingale and Rose are very poignant and leave you wanting to cry out,
“No! This cannot be!”
The stories themselves are beautifully written I would recommend that anyone should read these stories, young or old.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Several moralist tales that make you think of the attitude of yourself, or those you know around you, excellent stories to read to children as the are simple, easy to understand... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wainwright17
fantastic story with good morals but was very disappointed it didn't have pictures to go with the storyPublished 3 months ago by Denise cropper
the words and slightly different ending ...must be the political correctness police..who didn't think that oscar wilde original was good enoughPublished 4 months ago by joe nice guy