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The Happy Prince and Other Tales (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) Hardcover – 1 Oct 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (Oct. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679444734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679444732
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 1.2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,914,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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'.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have never read these stories before, then you must NOW. I discovered them in my late teens (I'm nearly 70 now) and now, long after my paperback copy has fallen apart, to have them on my fantastic Kindle means I can enjoy them at 'the touch of a switch'! They make me laugh and cry in equal amounts. Enjoy!!!
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Format: Paperback
My two year old got this book as a birthday present. It was quite advanced and I didn't read it for months. When I did, under pressure from my daughter, I was sure that she would lose interest half way through. Somehow she didn't. The Oscar Wilde story is beautifully told, with lovely use of language and repetition "Swallow, swallow, little swallow' etc. The illustrations are magical. Jane Ray uses lots of gilt and so for the adult reader, every page is magical. I can read and reread this story and my daughter seems to know that it is my favourite book as when she is being especially sweet she picks it out for her nighttime read. It is for a more mature child though, I would recommend it for a five year old who enjoys language and detailed pictures.
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Format: Paperback
The happy prince was my favourite book when I was little and still is now. It is about a statue of a prince that died and he is always happy, one day a sparrow fell in love so didn't set off to Egypt with his fellow friends, when he set off later than the rest, he got tired and stayed under the statue for shelter. he notices the prince is crying and the prince tells him because he sees the poor and poorly people, so the sparrow helps the prince to try and make these people happy. I enjoyed the book and find it a moving tale.I recommended this book to all ages.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I totally agree with all the other reviewers but want to add - which is why I am adding my recommendation here - my admiration for Anton Lesser's narration which I first heard on radio and was wonder struck.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These nine short stories by Oscar Wilde are most wonderful. I have read them several times, at long intervals, and they never pale or lose their magic. I feel that the trgic life of the author is, in a way, reflected in these morality tales in that he obviously put a great deal of himself into his fiction. "The Birthday of the Infanta" is quite heartbreaking. Oscar originally told these tales to his own two young sons, Vyvyan and Cyril, but in my opinion they are not suitable for very young children as much of the point of the stories is rather advanced.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this stories as a wee kid. They moved me to tears then, and now as a gruff tough Scottish Bloke they can still move me to tears. These are wonderful stories. If you don't have tears rolling down your cheeks after reading The Happy Prince - you may well be dead. These tales are not just for children. They are for everybody with a heart which can still break. Beautiful stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oscar Wild was the little boy who cried, "The Emperor is naked!" As much as such little boys deserve to be heard, they're a thorn in society's flesh. In those days, such "little boys" didn't fare very well, and were pushed into the fringes. Vincent Von Gogh was one such little boy, whom the establishment of his time would have been the better for listening to, and we know what happened to him. The same could be said about Oscar Wild.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book I read was bought 2nd hand from a book shop.

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.
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