In this haunting, magical fairy-tale collection, Oscar Wilde beautifully evokes (among others) the Happy Prince who was not so happy after all, the Selfish Giant who learned to love little children and the Star Child who did not love his parents as much as he should. Each of the stories shines with poetry and magic and will be enjoyed by children of every age.
About The Author
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854, the
son of an eminent eye-surgeon and a nationalist poetess who wrote under
the pseudonym of 'Speranza'. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and
then to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he began to propagandize the
new Aesthetic (or 'Art for Art's Sake') Movement.
Despite winning a first and the Newdigate Prize for Poetry, Wilde
failed to obtain an Oxford scholarship, and was forced to earn a living
by lecturing and writing for periodicals. He published a largely
unsuccessful volume of poems in 1881 and in the next year undertook a
lecture-tour of the United States in order to promote the D'Oyle Carte
production of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera, Patience.
After his marriage to Constance Lloyd in 1884, he tried to establish
himself as a writer, but with little initial success. However, his
three volumes of short fiction, The Happy Prince (1888), Lord
Arthur Savile's Crime (1891) and A House of Pomegranates
(1891), together with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray
(1891), gradually won him a reputation as a modern writer with an
original talent, a reputation confirmed and enhanced by the phenomenal
success of his Society Comedies – Lady Windermere's Fan, A
Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The
Importance of Being Earnest, all performed on the West End stage
between 1892 and 1895.
Success, however, was short-lived. In 1891 Wilde had met and fallen
extravagantly in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. In 1895, when his
success as a dramatist was at its height, Wilde brought an unsuccessful
libel action against Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensberry.
Wilde lost the case and two trials later was sentenced to two years'
imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. As a result of this
experience he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He was released
from prison in 1897 and went into an immediate self-imposed exile on
the Continent. He died in Paris in ignominy in 1900.