The Little Prince, this world famous poetic tale has won over readers the world over as it is translated into 288 languages and dialects !
First published in the United States
The Little Prince was published on April 6, 1943 in the United States. French readers had to wait until 1946 to meet the hero of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. For more than 70 years, the adventures of the Little Prince have seduced children and adults of the country. This book conceals a lot of mysteries, first about its origins. Saint-Exupéry wrote the book during his exile in New York, in the second part of 1942. At that time, the writer was indeed staying in the United States. He left occupied France a year earlier, with the somewhat vague hope of convincing the Americans to go to war, capitalizing on his growing notoriety. He had, during this period, had success with his testimony of the French campaign, « Pilot of War« . It is in the United States that the project really takes shape.
A little man on the tablecloth
In 1941, hospitalized in Los Angeles to treat old wounds, Saint-Exupéry received regular visits from actress Annabella, with whom he had worked on a film project years earlier. To distract him, she reads passages from Andersen’s tales and the two embark on a magical world, the character of the Little Prince would have been born in Saint-Exupéry’s imagination at that time. Then in 1942, during a dinner at a restaurant where, as usual, Saint-Exupéry drew a little man on the tablecloth, his publisher’s wife Elizabeth Reynal was intrigued and asked him to tell his story. And so, one thing leading to another, the house of Reynal & Hitchcock commissioned him for a children’s tale that he would illustrate himself … The story is told by an aviator whose plane broke down. He lands in the middle of the Sahara Desert and meets a child there: The Little Prince. The Little Prince explains that he comes from another planet and that before arriving on earth, he explored others … It is a poetic tale about love and friendship.
A success in the whole world
The work, sold over one hundred and forty-five million copies worldwide and twelve million copies in France, is translated into 270 languages and dialects, making it the best-selling literary work in the world. and the most translated after the Bible. Behind the story which may seem strange, Saint-Exupery wanted to send a message: He invites adults to find their childish soul, not to ask too many questions about life, to live each day with passion, and to be enthusiastic about the small pleasures of life… A book to be prescribed on prescription !
The little Prince site : https://www.lepetitprince.com/