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Star-Child: A Fable by Oscar Wilde
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Star-Child: A Fable by Oscar Wilde

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Found in the forest and brought up by a shepherd, an exquisitely beautiful child grows into a cruel and selfish boy. He rejects his true mother and from that moment his beauty forsakes him.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1900 by Floris Books (first published 1891)
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(showing 1-30 of 415)
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John Martindale
After reading a biography written about Wilde by one of his best friends, it looks like all the children books Oscar wrote, were during a time when he ostentatiously worshiped himself and beauty; living lavishly; he was hedonistic and proud; without care for the poor and he was popular among the aristocrats because of it. All this changed after his time in prison (for a while anyways). So yeah, it really is interesting to me that the moral of each of his stories, really ends up being "don't be l ...more
Another warning to be kind to strangers. In this case the Star Child is an infant found abandoned in the woods by the Woodcutter. The Woodcutter and his family take him in, and he grows to be a beautiful, awful child. When confronted by a beggar woman claiming to be his mother, he denies her and voila! is turned into an ugly little creature. He must prove himself and repent before he can be turned back into the beautiful child he was previously.

Quaint, simple, not bad.
I liked it, but it was too short to become attached to the character, who was very wicked for the most part. However, may I add this:
'And they fell on his neck and kissed him, and brought him into the palace and clothed him in fair raiment, and set the crown upon his head, and the sceptre in his hand, and over the city that stood stood by the river he ruled and was its lord. Much justice and mercy did he show to all, and the evil Magician he banished, and the Woodcutter and his wife he sent many
The last lines of this story seem to me to completely invert its meaning from a moral fable about the virtues of empathy, selflessness and sacrifice into a kind of hedonist's caution of the futility of any individual's efforts to expunge evil from the world. The ultimate lesson appears to be: Look at all this poor child put himself through, and what good did it really do anyone in the end? I may of course be mistaken, but after dipping into this story the other afternoon and reading other's revi ...more
Jorge Martinez
This story, its message, and the characters inside it, are worthy of the highest reverance. It shows how one must lose everything to gain something. Although the story itself is quite short, it still makes you become familiarize with the main character enough to find him vile, pity him, and atlas become enamoured by him. Mr. Wilde's literary wit lies in his simplistic manner, and his words touch even those who claim to be sagacious. What a wonderful read.
Joseph Thomas
It was a lovely little story, as beautifully written as always. I do wish he'd omitted the last few lines, however. You think 'aw that's a nice ending', and then you're slapped down with misery lol.
This read was refreshingly bright. It flowed with vivid imagery and seamless fashioned prose. I don't exactly know whether it's a fable or an anti-fable but I liked it.
Beautiful writing as usual with Wilde, but my god, the last sentence really seemed like out of spite from the author :P.
Asyraf Rusmizam
Not his best fairy tales but still worth a reading.
Its a sweet story and pretty well paced.
Andrew Schoenfelder
The Star-Child is very enjoyable to read and a good religious story to expose children too. It would be good for children to read a story of a outcast child who chooses evil over good. The ending was rather surprising and seemed to be ending like the happily ever after fairytale, until the last page. The child being found by two shepherds on a snowy night could be compared to other religious stories. Using this in a public school might draw some speculations from certain parents because of the t ...more
Why does Wilde have these abrupt somber and morose endings to his short stories?! He steers his stories to happy endings and just in the last couple of sentences he wrecks it up. Why! It was perfectly fine till then. No wonder his short stories did not become as popular. It is almost a pattern now among all his short stories, so the reader can predict the trail of the stories. Didn't expect such a flaw in the otherwise master writer. Disappointed >:<
Read as part of "The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde"

(view spoiler)
A prodigal son story. Detailed and well-paced.
Mistiemae1 Downs
A beautifully rendered fairy tale, complete with archetypal figures and themes. There are a few veiled religious references, but no direct talk of a particular faith.

The Star Child is a wonderful addition to any fairy tale library, whether it be for pleasure or homeschooling.
Pagli Rajkonna
I liked it for most part .. It was having a really good happy ending but oh Oscar Wilde, he had to ruin it with how another evil king came along and blah blah .. Just don't read the last four lines of the story and you'll be fine ;)
Satyabrat Mishra
Once again Wilde weaves a masterpiece with threads of allegories and metaphors. What's the beauty that shines not through the inner light? The beauty of the heart; the clearest beauty of all.
Sneh Pradhan
One of the classic parables by Wilde , a moral tale for children , once again ending just as Wilde always suffixes his stories with a strong dose of cruel but inescapable realism .
Aug 06, 2008 Corinne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: middle readers
Fable of a child who learns through difficulties not to be proud and selfish. Some use of old language eg. "thee" and "thou". Dramatic illustrations - 'medievalish'.
Diciamo che l'ultima frase di questa brevissima favola la salva da essere la solita storia dove i buoni vincono e i cattivi vengono puniti.
Sara Bakker
So many morals in that fable ... which makes it so much interesting !
Even Hayden enjoyed this one, and he's a tough critic.
Mehwish Khan
awsum story....really liked it
wonderful book
Vishnu Manoharan
Vishnu Manoharan marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2015
Jose Miguel
Jose Miguel is currently reading it
Nov 24, 2015
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being E ...more
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