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The Happy Prince: Unabridged (Puffin Classics)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  11,186 ratings  ·  241 reviews
These fantasies and true-to-life fables were created by Oscar Wilde for his own sons. Here is the tale of the Prince who is not as happy as he seems, of the Selfish Giant who learns how to love children, and of the Star-Child who suffers bitter trials when he rejects his parents.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Penguin Audiobooks (first published 1888)
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Petra X
Totally rewritten and expanded from the original short and succinct review in the light of some personally derogatory comments concerning my even daring to mention Wilde's anti-semitism. Nov. 18th, 2011

I've always liked Oscar Wilde's prose, if not his drama, but I thought this was an exercise in hypocrisy, or perhaps it was just Oscar Wilde, locked out of the gates of the wealthy aristocracy, just venting his spleen on them. You would think a man who lost everything because of the prejudice agai
Written for children, between 1882-1891, these beautiful
stories of delicate charm are for literate adults who alone
can perceive the irony and awareness of life's cruelties.
A poetic wistfulness also mingles with the artless musical
imagery. One critic says they remind him of Fragonard and Rossetti. Another is impressed by the simplicity of Biblical language.

Reviewing the fables a rather hysterical GR slams OW for
anti-semitism because of a perfunctory aside 100 years before
Political Correctness. S
This book is about the friendship between a swallow and a statue of a Happy Prince. The Happy Prince truly was just that- happy- in life because he lead a sheltered existence. "My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness." This distinction foreshadows the story's intent to outline for us a deeper meaning in happiness. In life, the Prince was shielded from all misery. He passed, and was immortalized in the statue, which looked down upon the city.

We m
[Name Redacted]
Having now re-read this, I still feel as though I cannot be sure if I read it once before. It's possible! But it's also possible that I only heard it read! Odd.

In any event, it is a lovely, simple fairy-tale about sacrifice, selflessness and the responsibility of rulers to care for their subjects -- but also about the ways in which good deeds can go unappreciated, and about the blindness which charitable people can exhibit in their desperate quest to serve the needy.

Also, here is the line which
Sarah Brownlee
The most beautiful story I have ever read in my life. I cried reading it as a child and I still cry reading it as an adult. The Happy Prince, a short 'children's' story, tells the life of a prince who was made into a golden statue after he died. In life, he lived a sheltered happy/ignorant life, but in death he saw all the suffering throughout the city. The relationship between the prince and the sparrow is incredible - furthermore, the shallow greed and hypocrisy of the town officials and autho ...more
Whatever I read by Oscar Wilde I really like, and it always gives me a bittersweet feeling. The pattern in Wilde's literature is so beautiful. This one is no different. Similar to "The nightingale and the rose" this one is about great sacrifices for people in need, sacrifices that go unnoticed by the shallow and rich people - which could really make a big difference.

My review
This story follows the friendship between the Happy Prince and a Swallow. The Happy Prince as a boy lived in complete luxury and happiness, unaware of the suffering outside his palace walls. The swallow by chance meets the prince after deciding not to migrate yet, because of his love of a reed. Upon meeting the bird the Prince tells the Swallow his story and of his sorrow for the suffering he now sees in his city. The Prince asks the Swallow to help different people in need by stripping away val ...more
Absolutely loved this story.

It truly moved me. It's the story of a swallow that one day, while migrating to Egypt, lands on the shoulder of a golden statue. The statue cries on the bird and tells him of the poor people in the city he watches over, and pleads that he help him alleviate there suffering.

This moved me and brought me to tears by the end of it. It's a thoughtful bittersweet story about helping others in need and caring for one another.
David Ceballos Correa
No recordaba estos cuentos, una grata relectura después de más de diez años, de estas fábulas mordaces, que en vez de moraleja llegan algunas a entregarnos una crueldad inmisericorde, pero cotidiana al final de cuentas, transversal en el espacio y el tiempo: i) una estatua-príncipe, acongojada de la miseria que azota al pueblo, una que en su vida anterior jamás conoció en medio de la felicidad que le entregaba la conformidad y el placer, decide aplacar el sufrimiento de los pobladores, en este i ...more
Before I read this story, when I saw the title of this book, I felt like it would be happy ending. Since I was young, I've hated sad ending. However, after I read this book, it made me cry. As the prince gave his all to the poor people even though he knew that he would be ruined. If we apply this story to our society, there would be no people like him. In my point of view, all mankind are selfish; we have an eye for the main chance. we have to change their mindset and then put their mindset into ...more
Sleeping on my friend's couch, having come to school too early for my own room to be open, she offered me her childhood copy of "The Happy Prince and Other Stories" to further my on-going search for pieces to record for my research project. I hadn't known that Oscar Wilde wrote children's stories, much less these delightfully crafted and imaginative parables.

Much like Warner Brother's cartoons, Oscar Wilde's fairy tales have value for both children and the adults who read to them (I found value
John Martindale
Oscar Wilde is sure an interesting character. For if the biography Frank Harris wrote about him is accurate and The Happy Prince was written before 1888. Then it seems "the happy prince" is completely out of character with Oscar. Supposedly during this time, Oscar Wilde, cared only for pleasure, beauty and fame, he was popular with the aristocrats, for he cared nothing for the poor. All that mattered was self-indulgence. Yet in such a state he wrote "The Happy Prince"? interesting. It would make ...more
Lido e relido tantas vezes...marcou-me imenso quando era miúda.
The irony of it all lays in the title and it makes you laugh at yourself for thinking you'd read about a happy prince. The prince notices the sufferings of other people and decides to help them by giving away his processions. The sparrow helped him a lot into delivering these gestures and stuck with him throughout.
Marts  (Thinker)
So, was he really a "happy prince", well we could call him the once was happy prince and the gentle sparrow who befriended and regardless of his situation stuck with him till death. I guess if some who sit upon their golden thrones were to view the hardship around them they wont be so "happy" either.
Louisa Klein
So many years have passed, but I still cry every time I read the end. Oscar, you leave me speechless (which is quite an achievement, trust me!)
The three-star rating is a rough average, as the amount to which I enjoyed each of these stories varies. My favourites - "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Fisherman and His Soul", and "The Birthday of the Infanta" - made my heart swell and twist in lovely ways. Others, like "The Happy Prince" and "The Young King" were not unpleasant to read, but in the end I didn't see much purpose to them beyond vaguely Christian morality tales.

All the stories have beautiful descriptions, sometimes bordering
Ubaid Talpur
what a wonderful story of giving precious things to needy people even one's life, a touching line in book is " Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?”
This was an apt story to read today. It has the same themes of empathy, sharing and love as The Giving Tree, but executed in a much more successful way, in my opinion. It's a shame that I recently entered one of my own picture book manuscripts with this theme in a competition, and the judge's comments back were mainly that the theme was cliched. Sure, it has been covered before, but does that mean topics about love, mutual understanding and a lack of greed should not be covered any more? Sure, I ...more
Read for school.
I read this as a child and was always moved to tears by the sad story of the swallow and the prince. I loved this story and have read it for my children.

Have to say I am genuinely surprised at some of the other reviews for this book that end up covering feminism, homosexuality, antisemitism and who knows what else. What ever happened to enjoying a story for what it is rather than this incessant need to analyse and over complicate?
The feeling of overwhelming surprise and approval for the past me when I remember that I actually read this like seven or eight years ago and liked it. I was an awesome kid. I liked Oscar Wilde when I still had all of my primary teeth. How awesome am I? Sure I had no clue I was reading Oscar Wilde back then, and I'm pretty sure we were never told anything about that, but still, I was an awesome kid.
I love this book so much that I can't believe I haven't reviewed it before now.

When I was about six years old, my great-aunt gave me a story collection. The book had a bright red cover and about 1000 gilt-edged pages. My favorite story in that collection was "The Happy Prince". We moved around a lot when I was a child, and that book was lost. Years later, I discovered Oscar Wilde's plays, but in no way connected them to that story from my childhood. Then I happened on this gorgeous version of t
Read this when I was a child in English and loved it. Read it recently again in French and had tears pouring down my face pretty much all the way through. It is incredibly moving and profound and, unfortunately still completely relevant with its depiction of self-righteous meddling bureaucrats.
Mariam Abood
I don't actually know what I've just read. I know short stories are supposed to be short but this took the piss. The only reason I'm giving this two stars instead of one is because I'm being biased because I adore Oscar Wilde and this was still beautifully written.
This book is the most transformative book I read as a child. Every year, my children and I gather to read it together. Hopefully, my children will grow and live so that they too will be recognized as the most precious things a swallow identify.
This is a beautiful and sensitive story. When you read Oscar Wilde's short stories you find out he could very serious when he wanted to be--more intensely serious than most people ever are-- and was as brilliant at sad stuff as he was at comedy.
Tara Lynn
I don't think I've ever read anything by Wilde that I haven't adored. His prose and characterization are brilliant, and it doesn't matter if he's writing for children, or for adults, his writing style adapts to the audience.
This is my favourite story by Oscar Wilde, as well as my favourite children's short story, period. I remember seeing an animated version of it on television in the 1970's as a child and it making me cry. I rented it as a camp counsellor when I was in college for the children in our camp to watch, and remember hiding my tears from the other counsellors as it still made me cry.
I bought The Happy Prince and Other Tales to read to my own children when they were very young. My now grown children sti
I read this when I was in elementary school and loved it. I remember I cried and cried because it was such a touching story about love that was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice.
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The happy prince - Personal review 4 9 Nov 17, 2014 02:56AM  
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“Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.” 29 likes
“Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, for can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.” 18 likes
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