Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kernel's Library: The Happy Prince and Other Stories

The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde Book 00066: The Happy Prince and Other Tales
by Oscar Wilde

- The Happy Prince and Other Tales or The Happy Prince and Other Stories

First Publication:
- 1888

- As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men.
- In 1878, his poem Ravenna won the Newdigate Prize. Shortly after leaving university his first volume of poetry was published.
- Wilde wrote fairy stories for his two sons. These were later published as The Happy Prince and Other Tales.
- An animated version of The happy Prince was produced in 1974, starring Glynis Johns as the swallow and Christopher Plummer as the Prince.

If you are in for some great stories then don't hesitate to read Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince and Other Stories. The book is filled with wondrous tales of love, magic, and friendship... This simply fantastical work creates a surreal effect to the minds of its readers. Could a statue have a life of its own and experience human emotion like sorrow and happiness? Where do the term "gentle giant" originated? What if you have a nightingale that fulfills each of your wishes? If you wondered of these same things, take a copy of this book and feel free to investigate the answers....

The book includes the following stories:

The Happy Prince
The Nightingale and the Rose
The Selfish Giant
The Devoted Friend
The Remarkable Rocket

Here is a brief description of one of the stories:

The Happy Prince

The protagonist of the story is a gilt and bejewelled statue of a prince, who stands on a tall column overlooking a city. A swallow, who has delayed his migration to Egypt for the love of a reed, rests on the statue's plinth; the Prince is crying at the injustices he can now observe, having been isolated from the realities of his society while he was alive. The Prince asks the swallow to remove the ruby that adorns his sword, and give it to a poor seamstress with a sick child; the swallow does so. The swallow stays with the Prince over the ensuing weeks, distributing the jewels and gold from the Prince to the poor of the city. When the Prince is completely denuded of gold, the swallow realizes he is dying from cold; the Prince asks the swallow to kiss him on the lips. The swallow dies, and the Prince's lead heart breaks. The next day, the Mayor of the city observes the state of the statue, and orders it to be removed and melted down. The Prince's heart does not melt in the furnace, and it is discarded on to the same dust-heap where the swallow's body is lying:

"Bring me the two most precious things in the city," said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

"You have rightly chosen," said God, "for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me."

Grade: A