The Happy Prince and Other Tales
Designed to appeal to the book lover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautifully bound pocket-sized gift editions of much-loved classic titles. Bound in real cloth, printed on high quality paper, and featuring ribbon markers and gilt edges, Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure. The richness of Oscar Wilde’s way with words and ideas are given full range in this sparkling collection of short stories written between 1887 and 1891. There are ghost stories, moral tales, detective fiction and, above all, fairy stories here to delight and entertain. From the comically unsuccessful and unhappy spook in ‘The Canterville Ghost’ to the incompetent would-be murderer in ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime’ we are treated to the extravagance and dexterity of Wilde’s wit. However it is particularly in the fairy stories that we see the brilliance of Wilde’s vision of society and human action, with each tale having both beauty and simplicity while at the same time exploring complex moral issues. The challenge and pleasure of Wilde’s short stories is the simultaneous appeal to both child and adult with their themes of Love, Truth and Sacrifice which are as relevant today as they were when they were written.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (b. Dublin, 1854) was an Irish playwright, who wrote one of the best-loved comedies in the English language – The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). A leading wit and conversationalist in London society, his career was destroyed at its height when he was imprisoned for homosexual offences. Wilde was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Settling in London, he became famous for his extravagant dress, long hair, and paradoxical views on art, literature, and morality. His first play, Vera (1880), a tragedy about Russian nihilists, was produced in New York to poor reviews. Success in the theatre came with the elegant drawing-room comedy Lady Windermere’s Fan. A Woman of No Importance (1893) was another success. Other works for the theatre were An Ideal Husband (1895) and the biblical Salomé (1896), written in French for Sarah Bernhardt. Wilde flaunted his homosexual affairs, including his ill-fated liaison with Lord Alfred Douglas. Following a celebrated trial in 1895 he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour. The sentence led to public humiliation, poor health, and bankruptcy. On his release in 1897 he left for France and remained in exile there until his death in 1900.”