Today, Wilde is mostly likely known for his sexual preference and fall from grace as much as writing. We read Dorian Grey today, and are “so” because we no longer are shocked by what it shows. It’s interesting then, that the stories Wilde wrote for his own sons, collected in the Happy Prince and Other Stories, make the banned or challenged lists every so often.
If you have seen the film Wilde, with Stephen Fry as Wilde, you will remember the wonderful scene where Wilde is telling the story of the Giant’s Garden. (If you haven’t seen the film, do). Apparently, such touching stories as the Selfish Giant are too morbid and depressing for children. We are no longer shocked by art for art’s sake or art not having purpose, but mention death and people faint.
Just look behind you.
See, told you so.
Wilde’s fairy stories were most likely the least offensive works he published during his life time. It’s funny that such tales are too dark for children, but his plays rarely make the list.