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The Happy Prince

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,839 Ratings  ·  409 Reviews
More than a hundred years ago, Oscar Wilde created this moving story for his children. Now shimmering illustrations, as bejeweled and golden as the Prince himself, give glowing life to the many dimensions of his tale. His story of friendship, love, and a willingness to part with one's own riches may be more important today than ever before. Full color.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Dutton Books (first published 1891)
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Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, reviewed
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
...more
Lorraine
Aug 26, 2011 Lorraine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
...more
Joca
Mar 22, 2016 Joca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Desde que me lembro que conheço esta história graças a uma adaptação infantil que me leram e que li imensas vezes. Mas só há relativamente pouco tempo percebi que era baseada nesta obra de Oscar Wilde.

Confesso que estava com receio de não gostar, de me desiludir mas isso não aconteceu de todo. A história que tanto me marcou só ficou mais rica e bonita nas mãos do autor.
Sketchbook
Dec 05, 2012 Sketchbook rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Sarah Brownlee
Oct 21, 2014 Sarah Brownlee rated it it was amazing
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
[Name Redacted]
Jul 16, 2013 [Name Redacted] rated it really liked it
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
...more
tyranus
Nov 12, 2015 tyranus rated it it was amazing
Oscar Wilde'ın en sevdiğim masalı. Çocukken okumuştum, yıllar sonra tekrar okuduğumda da aynı tadı aldım. Küçük çocuklar için harikulade bir seçim olur. İyi okumalar...
Alan
Nov 09, 2015 Alan rated it liked it
"My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died."

A darker story than I would have initially thought.

Wilde really attacks social mores throughout this short story. The hypocrisy of the rich, the crudity of self worship as well as a comment on the poverty stricken working class provides the backbone for this story that ostensibly is one of sacrifice.

The ending with God speaking was very clever. I think the "city" represents th
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The happy prince, Oscar Wilde (1854 ـ 1900)
عنوان: شاهزاده خوشبخت؛ نویسنده: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: حمید حقیقت جو؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، سازمان کتابهای پرنده آبی، 1344، در 169 ص، اندازه 16 در 11/5 س.م، موضوع: افسانه های پریان از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 م
پنج داستان کوتاه و شش قطعه ادبی منثور، نوشته اسکار وایلد شاعر و نویسنده ایرلندی، که برای گروه سنی نوجوانان و جوانان ترجمه شده، زندگینامه ی وایلد نیز در ابتدای کتاب آمده است. «شاهزاده خوشبخت»، یکی از قصههای کتاب، درباره ی مجسمه طلایی زیبای شاهزادهای ست،
...more
Soroosh Akef
Nov 14, 2015 Soroosh Akef rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Oh but so sad the prince of our story was, for only now, after his death, did he realize the sorrow of his people.

The Happy Prince is not the most creative story you've read, nor is it one you cannot predict. It's basically your typical children's story—going back and forth again and again with the same thing. However (you could see this "however" coming, couldn't you?) the message Wilde tries to convey is in no way restricted to children.

Wilde tells us a tale of sacrifice; sacrifice similar to
...more
Linda
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
http://thereaderdiary.blogspot.com
Alexander
Sep 30, 2012 Alexander rated it it was amazing
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
Matthew
Dec 19, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I read the section entitled "The Happy Prince" in a collection I have of Wilde's works, which include the short stories: The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend, and The Remarkable Rocket. I enjoyed these short stories very much and would recommend them to anyone.
Jessica
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
...more
Melissa Veras
Jul 13, 2015 Melissa Veras rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Cómo en trece páginas este hombre logró escribir un cuento de cinco estrellas?
Mounir
Oct 20, 2015 Mounir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very beautiful stories. This collection was first published in 1888, so apparently represent his earliest writings. I liked mostly the first "The Happy Prince" and the last two, "The Devoted Friend" and "The Remarkable Rocket". The remaining two; "The nightingale and the Rose" and "The Selfish Giant" are also beautiful. An element of criticism of social injustice and of human folly is evident in all stories, and Wilde's characteristic sarcasm and witty epigrams - which characterize all his later ...more
Dylan
Oct 02, 2013 Dylan rated it it was amazing
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.
Marts  (Thinker)
Apr 22, 2009 Marts (Thinker) rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
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.
Fares
Mar 18, 2016 Fares rated it really liked it
Shelves: 19th-century
One of the best short stories I have read in awhile. Oscar Wilde never ceases to impress me with his critical ironic style. This work clearly criticizes the economic system (hence Capitalism) as Wilde says,
"the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates."
In a world where "the living always think that gold can make them happy”, Wilde writes this story to show that true love, friendship and sacrifice exist
...more
Manik Sukoco
Dec 31, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories include a wide variety of characters and settings, but all share a common thread – love, sacrifice, kindness, and the possible dangers of not having them. On the surface, these may appear as simple fairy tales to a child, but Wilde packed each story with heartfelt meaning. There are tales of true friendship, as seen in The Happy Prince, and false friendship, in The Devoted Friend. The same selfless love and sacrifice that is received with gladness in The Selfish Giant, is sadly spurn ...more
Michael
The moral of this story maybe about self sacrifice or maybe helping people in need. But what I got from it was 'money can buy happiness'.
Mia Prasetya
Pangeran Bahagia, kumpulan cerita Oscar Wilde adalah salah satu seri fiksi klasik yang diterbitkan oleh penerbit Serambi. Covernya bagus, menggambarkan patung Pangeran Bahagia yang menjulang tinggi dan di pundaknya bertengger burung Walet. Ada 5 cerita yang semuanya bernuansa sedih dan ironis. Kelima di antaranya : Pangeran Bahagia, Bunga Mawar dan Burung Bulbul, Raksasa yang Egois, Teman yang Setia dan Roket yang Luar Biasa. Mirip dongeng anak-anak, walau begitu banyak pelajaran yang secara imp ...more
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
melmarian
Dongeng untuk segala usia. Buku tipis yang berisi lima cerita pendek karya Oscar Wilde ini sungguh sayang untuk dilewatkan dan menyenangkan untuk dibaca berulang-ulang. Lewat untaian kata-kata yang indah, cenderung tragis, dan penuh sindiran, Wilde berusaha mengajak pembaca untuk berhenti dan merenungkan apa artinya menjadi manusia seutuhnya. Bahwa manusia diciptakan satu paket dengan kemampuan untuk mencintai dengan tulus, apakah kita sudah mampu untuk melakukannya? Inilah kelima cerpen yang te ...more
Jaehong
Mar 22, 2012 Jaehong rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Martindale
May 30, 2012 John Martindale rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, audiobook
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
Tony
Feb 14, 2016 Tony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I'm amazed this book had escaped me for so long because I absolutely loved it. So much so, I have a copy printed now hanging beside my desk (such is it's size). It's incredibly profound and moving and has a deeper message about the plight of humans. It is desperately sad, however it's meaning is so ultimately of love and selflessness, it holds an incredibly important place in me now.
Riah
Apr 07, 2016 Riah rated it it was amazing
A wonderful children's story about the beauty of sacrifice, compassion, and a giving heart. Although a rewarding and fruitful story for children (and adults alike, really) the writing for this is more advanced than what is considered digestible for children in current times. It seems our standards for what is consumable for kids has experienced a decline.
Nikki
Oct 16, 2015 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Happy Prince is one not so happy story. Tears were shed. Poor swallow, and poor price, with his lead heart, which could be golden, it wouldn't make no difference.
Mafi
Dec 08, 2014 Mafi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, pt, infância
Lido e relido tantas vezes...marcou-me imenso quando era miúda.
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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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“Any place you love is the world to you.” 73 likes
“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.” 35 likes
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