A House of Pomegranates

A House of Pomegranates

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Overview

A House of Pomegranates is a collection of fairy tales, written by Oscar Wilde, that was published in 1891 as a second collection for The Happy Prince and Other Tales (1888). Wilde once said that this collection was "intended neither for the British child nor the British public."[1]

The stories included in this collection are as follows:

The Young King

The Birthday of the Infanta

The Fisherman and his Soul

The Star-Child

"The Young King" tells the story of the illegitimate shepherd son of the recently dead king's daughter of an unnamed country. Being his only heir, the sixteen-year-old is brought to the palace to await his accession. There, he is in awe of the splendor of his new home and anxiously awaits his new crown, scepter, and robe which are soon to be delivered to him for his coronation in the morning.

"The Birthday of the Infanta" is about a hunchbacked dwarf, found in the woods by courtiers of the King of Spain. The hunchback's father sells him to the palace for the amusement of the king's daughter, the Infanta, on her twelfth birthday.

Her birthday is the only time she is allowed to mingle with other children, and she much enjoys the many festivities arranged to mark it, especially the Dwarf's performance. He dances, as he did in the woods, thoroughly unaware of his audience's laughing at him. She insists on his performing a second time for her after dinner.

In "The Fisherman and his Soul", a young Fisherman finds a Mermaid and wants nothing more than to marry her, but he cannot, for one cannot live underwater if one has a soul. He goes to his priest, but the priest tells him his soul is his most precious possession, and the soulless mermen are lost. He tries to sell it to merchants, who tell him it is not worth anything. He goes to a witch, who tells him his soul is his shadow, and says how it can be cut away with a viper-skin knife after he dances with her.

"The Star-Child" is the story of an infant boy found abandoned in the woods by a poor woodcutter, who pities him and takes him in. He grows up to be exceedingly beautiful, but vain, cruel, and arrogant, believing himself to be the divine child of the stars. He lords over the other children, who follow him devotedly, and takes pleasure in torturing the forest animals and village beggars alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421839035
Publisher: 1st World Library
Publication date: 04/15/2007
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 - 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46.
Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles.
As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into what would be his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray(1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French while in Paris but it was refused a licence for England due to an absolute prohibition on the portrayal of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late-Victorian London.

Date of Birth:

October 16, 1854

Date of Death:

November 30, 1900

Place of Birth:

Dublin, Ireland

Place of Death:

Paris, France

Education:

The Royal School in Enniskillen, Dublin, 1864; Trinity College, Dublin, 1871; Magdalen College, Oxford, England, 1874

Table of Contents

The young king -- The birthday of the Infanta -- The fisherman and his soul -- The Star-child.

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