From “The Happy Prince”: High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.

I enjoyed these fairy tales by Oscar Wilde, who was well-known for his “acerbic and urbane nonfiction.” His fairy tales definitely retain some of that irony, and they seldom end happily. It’s hard to describe; sort of like how one character spends the whole story believing in true love and another character sacrifices for him, and then the object of that love doesn’t really care about him in the end. I liked them though because it was kind of refreshing to read one of those fairy tales that don’t end with a “happily ever after.” But the characters in the stories are all fairy tale characters: princes, princesses, kings, giants, dwarfs, nightingales, mermaids etc. The back of the 1990 Signet Classics  edition that I read from the library calls them “lovely, gemlike tales”, and I would definitely agree. The writing is absorbing, and there are some hints of familiar fairy tales. The original illustrations are quite good too.

Read Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde:

  • if you like Oscar Wilde’s writing
  • if you like fairy tales with a slight edge

204 pages.

 
Very Good! I would recommend this book!
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