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The Happy Prince and Other Tales

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  9,363 Ratings  ·  491 Reviews
A pleasure seeking prince, a selfish giant, and more: Wilde's fairy tales, first published in 1888, for childlike people from eighteen to eighty."
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 10th 1995 by Everyman's Library (first published 1888)
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Sidharth Vardhan
“I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.”

These are a lot like Andersen's tales - fairy-tale kind of prose, talking objects, often with sad elements and sad endings. Add to it, Wilde's popular witticisms. The Rose and Nightingale is one of the most beautiful stories I have read.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”

“Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.”

“I hate peo
K.D. Absolutely
May 08, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, childrens
The popular author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak aptly says in his introduction of this book: "There's something in these fairy tales that reminds me why any of us would want to be readers and writers in the first place, and that is that, the more amazing the stories become, the more I believe them, and the more I realize that I won't forget them." For me, these stories are truly unforgettable!

The Happy Prince : 5 stars (Amazing!)

A formerly rich and only child prince is now a regal statue. The
Oct 16, 2016 ˗ˏˋmaggieˎˊ˗ rated it liked it
Recommended to ˗ˏˋmaggieˎˊ˗ by: Lu Morales
The Happy Prince :

The Nightingale and the Rose :

The Selfish Giant :

The Devoted Friend :

The Remarkable Rocket :

Overall rating: 3
Jan 16, 2016 Srividya rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Srividya by: Fatty Bolger
When you truly live your life, you have to learn to accept and maybe expect the rare and unexpected surprises that might be in store for you. These unanticipated wonders often bring about a lot of joy in our lives and sometimes also have the capacity of teaching us a gentle yet important lesson. My surprise for the day was this small little book, a set of short stories written by Oscar Wilde and believe me I was simply floored by the simplicity as well as the complexity there was in these tales. ...more
Jul 05, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
A Beautiful Collection for All Ages

Each little story is a beautifully told allegory touching to the heart. You will never be too old or too young to appreciate the marvellous moral in each story.

The stories in this collection are: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend, and The Remarkable Rocket.

Many of my favourite epigrams come from this collection. Here are a few gems (of many):

"Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeral
Debbie Zapata
Dec 13, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gutenberg
I have found that any author I was forced to read in my ancient school days tends to be ignored these days when I can choose my own reading. Oscar Wilde certainly fits that statement. I remember having to dissect The Picture Of Dorian Gray for some class or other, and the only other work of his I have read since then was The Importance Of Being Earnest. I enjoyed that, but it did not inspire me to discover any more about or by Wilde.

But a few days ago I noticed a review by fellow GR group member
Apr 30, 2015 Mayra rated it really liked it
This is a collection of five short stories, that are fairy-tale-like moral fables, not only for children, but drenched in subtle hints aimed at the older readers.

When questioned about the maturity of the language in his stories, Wilde ridiculed the idea that "extremely limited vocabulary at the disposal of the British child" should be "the standard by which the prose of an artist is to be judged".

These tales are dark and colorful at the same time, and deal mostly with selfishness, compassion, eg
Dec 28, 2016 M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ruh, ıssız kumsalda durup onları seyretti." (s.108)

Son derece sıcak, bilgelikle yüklü, keyifli öyküler ve masallar bunlar. Çocukluğumda okuduğum rengarenk dünyalara kapımı açan masal kitaplarını hatırlattı bana. Bu vesileyle tekrar çocukluğuma dönmemi sağladı.
Öykülerin kimi zaman hüznü aynı zamanda mizahi unsurlarla kaynaştırabilmesi büyük bir edebi dehayı gösteriyor. Özellikle "hortlak" temalı öyküyü (ya da masalı) okurken çok eğlendim. Bu öyküde satır aralarında aynı zamanda Amerikan dünya gö
This is a beautiful little collection of stories. I thought I'd never read any of them, but I'd definitely read "The Selfish Giant" before, and some of the others seemed familiar. The stories are all a little like fairy tales, though, so that's probably part of it.

My favourites were "The Nightingale and the Rose" and "The Fisherman and His Soul", I think. All of them are lovely, though. I especially like the beginning of Star-Child. Some of the lines in it are gorgeous, like: "And when they came
Deborah Markus
Nov 29, 2014 Deborah Markus rated it liked it
If this book doesn't make you want to curl up with a nice hot cup of arsenic and maybe some razor blades, you read a different edition than I did. Apparently Wilde read Hans Christian Anderson and thought, "Dang nab it, I can write way way depressing fairy tales, too!"

Not saying it's not pretty. Just saying.
Wilde is a fantastic prose stylist, if you can tolerate his style, and this is one of his most accessible works, as well as a surprising one in many ways for those with certain preconceived notions of the author: Wilde here often puts his aesthetic pose second to his political and moral views - two things that 'Oscar Wilde' wasn't meant to have at all.

On the other hand, this probably isn't the best demonstration of Wilde's skills. The idea of the arch-sophisticate taking on the genre of simple,
Feb 14, 2016 Amina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Amina by: Hitessh Panchal
Short stories with morals, I love that!
As always, many thanks Hitessh for the great recommendation!
Nov 16, 2011 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Wilde and short stories. Literature/Creative writing students.
I do really like Oscar Wilde, so giving this collectiont three stars pains me somewhat. It's not that they aren't well written, they're just incredibly sad and frustrating. "The Devoted Friend", for example, just annoyed me. There are no happy endings and, call me old fashioned, but I think happy endings in children's stories are a necessity. That being said I read "The Selfish Giant" many times as a child. Whether it did me any good or not remains to be seen!

From an analytical point of view I c
Cheryl M-M
Aug 31, 2012 Cheryl M-M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today I decided to get an old dusty favourite out to read. Why you may ask, why today of all days would you choose Wilde?
Why have you picked this book over something equally superb and known for its literary know something that features:

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That's right goblins, goblin sex and oh baby eating goblins.
I mean isn't that the kind of book you think of straight away when you think of renowned playwrights like Wilde.

[image error]

Yeh, I know I was kind of speechles
Jun 27, 2015 Alayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

Todos son casi igual de trágicos y tristes, aunque algunos duelen mucho más que otros.
En mi edición, que es bastante vieja y estaba forrada por su anterior dueño (la abuela de mi mamá, creo), hay unas ilustraciones muy lindas, aunque no busqué cuál era acá, pero me gustaron mucho.

El príncipe feliz : 4/5; me sonaba la historia, aunque no la conocía del todo, y el cuento en sí me pareció muy hermoso.

El ruiseñor y al rosa : 5/5; me volvió a romper el corazón por 765930 vez. Creo que no import
May 04, 2015 Rxmi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"—Ahora temo que mi historia le haya molestado —dijo el jilguero—. Pero lo cierto es que lo que le conté tenía una moraleja.
—¡Ah! Eso siempre es muy peligroso —reflexionó la pata.
Y yo, yo estoy de acuerdo con ella."

El príncipe feliz: 3/5
El ruiseñor y la rosa: 4/5
El modelo: 3/5
El amigo fiel: 5/5
El reflejo: 4/5
El imán: 5/5

Si bien todas las historias tienen algo para dejar en el lector, no todas supieron encantarme. Mis favoritas terminaron siendo El ruiseñor y la rosa, el cual ya había leí
Mar 10, 2009 Bram rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
I could squirt some tears just thinking about a couple of these stories.
Jun 14, 2013 Anarika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes tales
Recommended to Anarika by: Nadja
I enjoyed reading this today in the sun. I am reading a German version (with English text on one page, German on the other)...Wilde's style is astonishing. These tales are told in a simple way, for kids, but are definitely more than just that. They warm up your heart, even though they are a bit sad. (25th March 2012)
31st March 2012:
They are sad indeed, but they are written so beautifully and they talk about caring about others, winning over our own selfishness, believing in love and in the good
Dec 30, 2015 Eman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
The Happy Prince and Other Tales is my first read for Oscar Wilde, and it won't be the last. It's combined of 5 short stories, each story carries a moral at the end of it. I'm not sure if this book is appropriate to be narrated for kids at bedtime, because... (view spoiler).

How did I like each story?

The Happy Prince:
3 stars, liked it.

The Nightin
Paula W
Dec 08, 2016 Paula W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the stories better than others, but overall really cute little easy-to-read stories with a moral. Some of the morals better than others, but isn't it always like that?
Karen ⊰✿
So naturally I only read this as it was written by Wilde, and that is possibly the only reason why it is still in publication because the stories are quite different to contemporary children's tales. Drowning in religion and with very heavy and obvious moral themes, I think readers today prefer a bit more subtlety.
Jul 20, 2016 Ashish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something about Wilde's writing which makes it immensely likeable. Simple prose and heart-felt humour makes it a great introduction to his works. The Picture of Dorian Gray and the plays will still be his best, but it takes nothing away from this collection of short stories.
Greg Z
Mar 19, 2016 Greg Z rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
There are two truly beautiful stories here: "The Happy Prince" (which I've read numerous times in other collections) and "The Selfish Giant" (which I've never encountered anywhere and I think it is one of Wilde's best works.) A children's book? Yes. A book for everyone? Absolutely!
Mar 25, 2016 Josiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several of Oscar Wilde's classics—including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest—float between categorization as adult and young-adult literature, but The Happy Prince and Other Tales achieves a rare distinction among the inimitable Mr. Wilde's works: it is purely a children's book, and one born of that time which produced some of the most enduring fare for young readers, the Victorian era. Fairy tales have a venerated history in children's lit, and I can't imagine anyo ...more
Apr 01, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Short stories, simply, elegantly, affectingly and engagingly told.
Dec 31, 2016 Pablo rated it really liked it
Muy bellos relatos, aunque cada uno más triste que otro. Dejan bellas enseñanzas, se lo había regalado a mi hermano pequeño, creo que es muy recomendable para niños. Sin embargo, no dejan de ser una gran lectura para cualquier edad.
Dec 28, 2016 Mila rated it liked it
Shelves: brits
Wilde’s collection of children’s fairy tales alternates sad and precious stories in the vein of Anderson’s with lighter, more playful ones.

At the core of those tales lie the Christian values that fascinated Wilde, and his own allegedly immoral life resonate within them. Careless or morally flawed characters find joy and redemption in compassion and self-sacrifice. In other tales, falseness, vanity, self-importance are criticised and mocked.
The Happy Prince -- 4 stars

The Nightingale and the Rose --3 stars

The Selfish Giant -- 4 stars

The Devoted Friend -- 3 stars

The Remarkable Rocket -- 3 stars

This was a great little collection. All the short stories were well-written and just plain charming. I'm definitely going to look up some of Oscar Wilde's other works!
Aug 09, 2015 NobilisGughy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tribolazioni e ingratitudini.
Una morale unisce tutte, o quasi, queste fiabe: il sacrificio e la rinuncia non portano a nulla, non pagano. I protagonisti gettano le braccia al collo del Sacrificio, si immolano per Amore, ma vengono ripagati con l'indifferenza e l'ingratitudine. Una morale, va da sé, profondamente wildiana.

Riaccende una scintilla di speranza, in questo mondo dove non c'è Mistero grande come la Miseria.

Così struggente nel dipingere

“If you want a red rose,” said the Tree, “you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart’s-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.”
“Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,” cried the Nightingale, “and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot o
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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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“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” 62036 likes
“Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.” 155 likes
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