Full confession here – even though I did a module in children’s literature as part of my English degree, until very recently I never knew that Oscar Wilde wrote two collections of fairy stories. Further confession, even though I have watched theatre and screen adaptations of Wilde’s work (I love The Importance of Being Ernest), I have never read any of his writing – until now.
The Complete Fairy Stories of Oscar Wilde, which was originally published in 1952 has very recently been republished (October 2022) with original illustrations by Philippe Jullian. As well as being a collection of enjoyable but symbolic stories for children and adults alike, this beautiful collection makes a lovely gift.
As I have spent the last few weeks reading novel on top of novel (something I never tire of), it has been refreshing to dip in and dip out of Wilde’s collection of stories. Especially when I have been short of time or really tired before falling asleep at night but want to read something from beginning to end.
I found a lot of the stories quite moving, especially the opening story The Happy Prince. I had heard of The Happy Prince before as it is also the title of a film of Oscar Wilde’s life – starring, written and directed by Rupert Everett. The fairy story is quite beautiful and also humorous as a Swallow falls in love with a Reed. It is also very poignant.
I have to admit I found myself really investing in The Devoted Friend, only to be a tad disappointed with the ending. I don’t want to criticise one of the greatest writers of the 19th century, but I feel Oscar Wilde failed to achieve what he meant to with that particular story.
The collection ends with a critical note by Oscar Wilde’s son, Vyvyan Holland which I found fascinating.
These stories are full of beauty and compassion. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
To read the book reviews from my fellow bloggers also on this blog tour, please see below. Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.
I love his writing, but I’ve read one or two of these and they’re very much Christian fiction.
Thanks for the blog tour support x