Is it true that Oscar Wilde wrote this along with other children's stories to keep in touch with his own children while he was estranged from his wife and "doing time" in prison?
@amy-lepore: My favorite Oscar Wilde play is definately The Importance of Being Earnest because I sincerely think that I am the female version of Algernon.
My favorite stories are The Selfish Giant and Dorian Gray
And I LOVE reading The Ballad of Reading Gaol's verses after a couple glasses of wine. Ok, TMI
In all honesty, I love reading his biographies more than anything, since he didn't really publish an autobiography other than what we get at De Profundis...
(have u noticed Im a bit too excited about this post)
The Selfish Giant was one story written for Cyril and Vyvyan, Oscar Wilde's two sons as told by Vyvyan Holland himself (his son) in his book Son of Oscar Wilde. He also states that Happy Prince was written for them as well. The other stories were randomly written but they were written way before his successes of the 1890's which led to his four society plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest. This, by the by, was also the decade (fin de siecle) which saw his decline, his tragedy of imprisonment and, eventually in 1900, he died along with his Age.
By the way: I HIGHLY recommend the book Son of Oscar Wilde. If you are a true Wildean like myself, this will give you a CHUNK of great inside information about Oscar through the eyes who lived through his tragedy
I love that these stories can be enjoyed on so many different levels. Of the ones in this collection, "The Selfish Giant" is my favorite. Which ones do you enjoy the most? These stories are, to me, so very different from his longer works. The Picture of Dorian Gray is my all-time favorite.
Note that all but one ("The Remarkable Rocket") treat various aspects of sacrifice or loss. Were these stories personal at first(just for his children), or were they immediately printed for the public as well? If so, were they popular right away?
Was "The Selfish Giant" also written during this time? What other short stories are on this list?
What about the Swallow? I think his sacrifice is the most impressive in the story because in the beginning he was not willing to give up anything to help the prince, but later we see that his conversion in his way of thinking made him sacrifice. That's, in my opinion, is a great message of how people can influence their societies and impress their surrounding once they are given the stimulus that provokes them to, and only by that way a community changes its condition when the individuals change their inner souls.
There is no conclusive evidence that Wilde wrote these for his children. The stories have many themes and morals and can be explored on many levels.
Some critics compared this collection to another one which is A House of Pomegranates. The result was that this collection was considered to be milder than the second (A House of Pomegranates) which was perceived as immoral and offensive because Wilde was accused of being homosexual. In other word, critics took into consideration Wilde's disorders in their judge of his stories. But it is said also that Wilde was happily signing copies and writing notes for people when he puplished The Happy Prince collection.
If you need more information you can have a look on this link and the links I associated in previous posts.
The whole collection includes:
The Happy Prince
The Nightingale and the Rose
The Selfish Giant
The Devoted Friend
The Remarkable Rocket
www.oscarwildecollection.com/ - 22k
Oscar Wilde did write this story for his own children. Concerning the time it was published :it was in 1888 and Wilde's case that drove him to prison happened in 1895.