The Little Prince Book (Summary - Review - Book Order)

The Little Prince (in French: Le Petit Prince; pronunciation in French: [lə pəti pʁɛs]), first published in April 1943, is a novel, the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneer Antoine de Saint- Exupéry.

The novel has been voted as the best book of the twentieth century in France. Translated into 300 languages and dialects, selling almost two million copies a year and with sales of more than 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best selling and translated books in history.

After the outbreak of World War II, Saint-Exupéry escaped to North America. Despite personal upheavals and poor health, he produced almost half of the writings for which he would be remembered, including a tender story of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss, in the form of a young prince who visits Earth. A previous memory of the author had related his aviation experiences in the Sahara desert and is believed to have been inspired by those same experiences in The Little Prince.

Since its first publication, the novel has been adapted to numerous forms of art and media, including audio recordings, radio works, live sets, films, television, ballet, and opera.

Although seemingly designed as a children's book, The Little Prince makes several observations about life and human nature. For example, Saint-Exupéry talks about a fox that meets the young prince during his travels on Earth. The essence of the story is contained in the fox that says "one sees clearly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes". Other key morals articulated by the fox are: "You are responsible, forever, for what you have domesticated" and "It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important." The fox messages are possibly the most famous quotes in the book because they deal with human relationships.

Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Original title Le Petit Prince
Translator (English editions)
Katherine Woods
T.V.F. Cuffe
Irene Testot-Ferry
Alan Wakeman
Richard Howard
David Wilkinson
Illustrator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Cover artist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Country France
Language French
Publisher Reynal & Hitchcock (U.S.)
Gallimard (France)
Publication date
April 1943 (U.S.: English & French)
(France, French, 1945)[2][Note 1]
Preceded by Pilote de guerre (1942) 
Followed by Lettre à un otage (1944) 

Few stories are so widely read and universally appreciated by children and adults as The Little Prince. Richard Howard's translation of the beloved classic beautifully reflects the unique and talented style of Saint-Exupéry. Howard, an acclaimed poet and one of the most outstanding translators of our time, has stood out for bringing the text in English as close as possible to French, in language, style and, most importantly, spirit. The work of art in this edition has been restored to match in detail and in color with the original work of art by Saint-Exupéry. Combining Richard Howard's translation with restored original art, this final English edition of The Little Prince will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published The Little Prince in 1943, just one year before his Lockheed P-38 disappeared in the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than half a century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a pilot shot down in the Sahara desert, who frantically tries to repair his destroyed plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the appearance of a little prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "Before an overwhelming mystery, you do not dare to disobey," recalls the narrator. "As absurd as it may seem, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a piece of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins his dialogue, which extends the imagination of the narrator in all kinds of surprising and childish directions.

The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, every small world populated by a single adult. It is a wonderfully inventive sequence that evokes not only the great fairy tales but also the monuments of postmodern fantasy like the invisible cities of Italo Calvino. And despite his tone of gentle bewilderment, Saint-Exupéry also achieves some fine satirical touches. For example, there is the king who orders the Little Prince to function as a judicial power of one man (or one child):

I have good reason to believe that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. I hear it at night. You could judge that old rat. From time to time, you will condemn him to death. That way his life will depend on his justice. But you will forgive him every time for the sake of the economy. There is only one rat.
The author makes fun of a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom represent some useless aspect of adult existence. However, her story is, in the last analysis, tender: a sincere exposition of sadness and loneliness, which never becomes a core in the style of Peter Pan. Such delicacy of tone can present real headaches for a translator, and in In her translation of 1943, Katherine Woods sometimes deviated from the brand, giving the text a slightly wooden or didactic accent. Happily, Richard Howard (who did a good job of cleaning and handling in The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal in 1999) has been simplified and simplified to a wonderful effect. The result is a new and improved version of an indestructible classic, which also restores the original full-color artwork. "Trying to be resourceful," they tell us at one point, "leads to lying, more or less." But the drawings of Saint-Exupéry offer a useful refutation: they are fresh, amusing and, like the book itself, rigorously true.

About the Author
ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, the "Winged Poet," was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. A pilot at twenty-six, he was a pioneer of commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. His writings include The Little Prince, Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, Southern Mail, and Airman's Odyssey. In 1944, while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, he disappeared over the Mediterranean.

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