The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
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Synopsis

Spectacular full-color paintings complete with richly patterned borders in gold accompany a collection of Wilde's beautiful fairy tales, including ""The Selfish Giant"" and ""The Happy Prince.""
 

About Oscar Wilde

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Flamboyant man-about-town, Oscar Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. He was born to a middle-class Irish family (his father was a surgeon) and was trained as a scholarship boy at Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by John Ruskin and Walter Pater, whose aestheticism was taken to its radical extreme in Wilde's work. By 1879 he was already known as a wit and a dandy; soon after, in fact, he was satirized in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. Largely on the strength of his public persona, Wilde undertook a lecture tour to the United States in 1882, where he saw his play Vera open---unsuccessfully---in New York. His first published volume, Poems, which met with some degree of approbation, appeared at this time. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, the daughter of an Irish lawyer, and within two years they had two sons. During this period he wrote, among others, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), his only novel, which scandalized many readers and was widely denounced as immoral. Wilde simultaneously dismissed and encouraged such criticism with his statement in the preface, "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." In 1891 Wilde published A House of Pomegranates, a collection of fantasy tales, and in 1892 gained commercial and critical success with his play, Lady Windermere's Fan He followed this comedy with A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). During this period he also wrote Salome, in French, but was unable to obtain a license for it in England. Performed in Paris in 1896, the play was translated and published in England in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas and was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley. Lord Alfred was the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, who objected to his son's spending so much time with Wilde because of Wilde's flamboyant behavior and homosexual relationships. In 1895, after being publicly insulted by the marquess, Wilde brought an unsuccessful slander suit against the peer. The result of his inability to prove slander was his own trial on charges of sodomy, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. During his time in prison, he wrote a scathing rebuke to Lord Alfred, published in 1905 as De Profundis. In it he argues that his conduct was a result of his standing "in symbolic relations to the art and culture" of his time. After his release, Wilde left England for Paris, where he wrote what may be his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), drawn from his prison experiences. Among his other notable writing is The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891), which argues for individualism and freedom of artistic expression. There has been a revived interest in Wilde's work; among the best recent volumes are Richard Ellmann's, Oscar Wilde and Regenia Gagnier's Idylls of the Marketplace , two works that vary widely in their critical assumptions and approach to Wilde but that offer rich insights into his complex character. Isabelle Brent has illustrated many books for children, including editions of Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. She lives in Dorset, England, with her husband. Neil Philip is a noted folklorist and anthologist who has written several books on Native American and multicultural themes for Clarion, including IN A SACRED MANNER I LIVE, which was named both a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in England.
 
Published October 1, 1994 by Viking Juvenile. 144 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

Kirkus Reviews

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After over 100 years, Wilde's fairy tales have lost none of their tragic beauty, or their sly humor, to which these nine bear witness.

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Kirkus Reviews

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After over 100 years, Wilde's fairy tales have lost none of their tragic beauty, or their sly humor, to which these nine bear witness.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wild...

Publishers Weekly

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Two perfect prose miniatures find their ideal illustrator in this fourth volume of Russell's adaptations from Wilde.

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Publishers Weekly

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The melancholic story follows a swallow who befriends the statue of the Happy Prince, who was indeed happy when he lived a sheltered life.

Jun 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wild...

Project MUSE

Killeen observes that Wilde's two volumes of fairy tales, The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888) and A House of Pomegranates (1891), have been marginal to his canon in part because they do not fit into the usual view of Wilde as "a subversive writer" and in part "because children's literature .

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