Oscar Wilde’s Best
It’s really, really heartbreaking. But for some reason you want to read it again and again. It’s an extraordinary love story. It really is exquisitely written.– Michael Morpurgo
Almost every Sunday morning as a child I’d listen to Oscar Wilde’s short story, The Happy Prince (1888), on the radio and cry into my pillow so my brother nearby wouldn’t hear. A statue being stripped of his gold to feed the poor seems an unlikely plot for children. I didn’t understand all of the lyrical language back then but I suspect the story shaped my attitudes to compassion and authority figures. Today I can see it’s also a touching story about two needy characters; and I like Wilde’s ideas about true happiness:
The living always think that gold can make them happy.
Listen to that original radio version read by the mellifluous Robert Morley. Still makes me cry.