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A House of Pomegranates (1891)

by Oscar Wilde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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246479,971 (3.59)13
Wilde's second collection of fairy tales, originally published in 1891, following "The Happy Prince" in 1888. The volume includes "The Young King," "The Birthday of the Infanta," and "The Star-Child." While these stories are clearly intended for a younger audience, Wilde, with typical sardonic quip declared that the stories were "intended neither for the British child nor the British public."… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
A House of Pomegranates is a collection of fairy stories written by Oscar Wilde that were originally published in 1891. There are four stories in this collection:

The Young King
The Birthday of the Infanta
The Fisherman and His Soul
The Star-Child

These stories were written for children and are, in fact, morality fables. One warns of the danger of vanity while another explores the complexities of one’s soul. We read of “The Young King” as he learns the value of spiritual over the material. By far, the strangest story was ‘The Birthday of the Infanta” which tries to teach us not to judge on appearances but was quite tragic. In all these stories Wilde stresses beauty of the soul over the artifice of good looks.

There was a certain amount of charm to these stories but like many Victorian tales they come across as rather preachy and are harsh in their judgments. Each story seemed to find a certain amount of joy in suffering and punishment. While I didn’t love this collection, I did enjoy experiencing Wilde’s wit and creativity. ( )
4 vote DeltaQueen50 | Jul 18, 2019 |
I wept at the end of each story. This is a collection of four short stories described as fairy-tales because of the presence of a dwarf, mermaid, witch as characters. I heaved a sad sigh at the tragic end of each of the stories since I know I could never have read these in my childhood and not felt repulsed at the genre of fairy tales. Reading fairy tales as an adult makes us see the folly and flaws in character and morale of the stories we so lovingly enthral children with in their childhood. I have loved Oscar Wilde for his sarcasm and sharp wit in his novels but for these children's tales, he simply broke my heart with the misery and helplessness of characters. That said, his genius as a story teller remains unparalleled when it comes to short stories. ( )
2 vote Sharayu_Gangurde | Jan 19, 2017 |
Beautifully written, but could do with a bit less moralizing. What I did like was the bitter undertone to some of the stories, the Infanta for example. She is a pretty child and that is all: people do not care for sensitive monsters and there is no sudden miracle to come safe the dwarf. The characters are very human in their cruelty, which made it interesting. I especially loved the fisherman, and the story of the young king was nice too, though I would have liked it better if the people despite the miracle had done away with their future king. Then again I suppose I just have the personality of a cranky old lady. :) ( )
1 vote Merinde | Mar 30, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oscar Wildeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Luyn, D. vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Midderigh-Bokhorst, B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oosterzee, Liana vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was the night before the day fixed for his coronation, and the young
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Wilde's second collection of fairy tales, originally published in 1891, following "The Happy Prince" in 1888. The volume includes "The Young King," "The Birthday of the Infanta," and "The Star-Child." While these stories are clearly intended for a younger audience, Wilde, with typical sardonic quip declared that the stories were "intended neither for the British child nor the British public."

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