Urbane, dandyish, sardonic - the popular image of Oscar Wilde does not immediately conjure up a writer of enchanting fairy tales. Yet, as this collection admirably shows, he was also a poet, dreamer and, above all, born storyteller. "The Happy Prince", one of his best-loved stories, tells of the attempts of a kind-hearted statue and an amorous swallow to rid their city of poverty, and of their heavenly reward. Others include the tale of the unjust but repentant giant who discovers joy in loving others, the nightingale willing to die for love, and a pompous although very remarkable rocket, ready to display his talents and his ignorance. Full of splendid, joyous imagery - birds, flowers, fireworks and palaces - the stories are infused with an underlying wisdom and morality. Beguilingly haunting and original, these timeless tales - initially invented by Wilde for his own children - remain as popular today as when they were written over a hundred years ago.