After over 100 years, Wilde's fairy tales have lost none of their tragic beauty, or their sly humor, to which these nine bear witness. They are about friendship and sacrifice, true love and religious belief. The story of ""The Happy Prince"" who, with the help of his devoted friend, the Swallow, aids the poor and unhappy people he sees from his privileged position high above the city, combines all these elements into Wilde's most poignant tale; in the end Wilde invokes God himself to lift up the souls of the departed friends. In ""The Nightingale and the Rose,"" although the Nightingale gives her life's blood to create a rose with which the Student may win his ladylove, Wilde ends the story cynically. The longer and more esoteric ""The Fisherman and his Soul"" deals in greater depth, and more obscurely, with questions of morality, religion, and love. But though these are sad and thoughtful tales, Wilde's signature wit is clearly evident -- as when the mother duck says to her children during their lessons, ""You will never be in the best society unless you can stand on your heads."" Classic tales wonderfully adorned with Brent's lustrous, jewel-toned illumination.