The writing of the Little Prince is going to remain one of the greatest ventures in the world of literature as well as a point of interest featured by obscurity. The adventurous and turbulent life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery is wrapped in the veil of mystery, especially his disappearance. When he finished the writing of Little Prince he was 43 years old. When he was 44, on July 31, 1944, Antoine flew to his last reconnaissance mission. His goal was to collect intelligence on German troops around Rhone valley but he never returned. It meant he never got to see his Little Prince published in his home country of France where the Vichy Regime banned all of his literary work.
Sadly the writer didn’t live long enough to tell us more about the writing of Little Prince but despite that sad fact there are few traces that remain.
Where Was The Little Prince Written?
The most popular belief is that the little prince was written in France. However, that is not the case. Little Prince was not written in France but in New York City and Asharoken village in New York state. After France signed an Armistice on June 22, 1940, together with the rest of the troops, Saint Exupery who flew a reconnaissance bomber in French Air Force was demobilized. He went to Portugal right away from where he traveled to the U.S. with an intention to help in persuading the U.S. government to enter the conflict against Nazis.
When Was The Little Prince Written?
The writing of the little prince sprawled over a couple of months. In late spring 1942, Antoine went to Quebec. It was supposed to be a vocation but the time he spent there was fraught with illness and stress. When he returned to New York the French wife from one of his publishers persuaded him to write a book for children. It is how the writing of the little prince started. This means that the first page of the manuscript could have been written sometime at the beginning of the summer, 1942. What is known for certain is that the writing of the little prince ended in October 1942.
How Was The Little Prince Written?
The manuscript of Little Prince was written on simple sheets of paper. Written and illustrated because Antoine de Saint-Exupery was one of the rare authors who both wrote and draw pictures of their books. Smoking was one of his habits. People said that while writing he could not be seen without a cigar between his lips. He also carried a cup of coffee. To witness this fact a The Morgan Library from New York presented the sheet of his manuscript with the stain of coffee. And all of this, we know and have because of Silvia Hamilton. She was a close friend to Antoine. In April 1943, shortly after the little prince came out, Antoine de Saint-Exupery shoved the little prince’s manuscript and drawings in and gave it to Silvia with words, ” I’d like to give you something splendid, but this is all I have.” After that, he went to Algiers with an American military convoy.
The original manuscript of the little prince had 30 000 words which was double the amount of what was published in the book. Also very interesting is the fact that there is a drawing of the narrator. Nowhere in the published version of the little prince did we see a drawing of a pilot who crashed in the desert and met the boy from the star. However, among Antoine’s many drawings there is one depicting a pilot who is sleeping leaned on the plane.
Did the Little Prince Sell Well?
As we already stated, the little prince was the only book for children Antoine ever wrote. It was a masterpiece but when it comes to success it wasn’t doing as nearly well as it was the case with Wind, Sand, and Stars. The little prince was on New York Times bestseller list for only two weeks. When it comes to Wind, Sand, and Stars it was there for twenty. The reason for that is probably because it was uncategorizable. The reason for that is that the little prince was both a book for children and a philosophical fable for adults. However, it was exactly what turned it into a classic.
What Inspired the Little Prince?
There are many theories to answer this question. However, there is a written record from the conversation led between Antoine de Saint-Exupery and photojournalist John Philips. When John asked the writer how the little prince entered his life Antoine answered that one day he looked down on what he thought was a blank sheet and saw a small childlike figure. “I asked him who he was, ” Saint-Ex said. “I’m the Little Prince,” was the reply.
However, it is very possible that Antoine drew the inspiration for the little prince from his child-self. When he was a kid he had golden hair and his family members called him The Sun King. And for the plot, it is assumed that Antoine drew inspiration from his desert crash on 30th December 1935. Together with his mechanic-navigator Andre Prevot, Antoine was flying to break the speed record in the Paris-to-Saigon air race. He wracked into the desert near the Nile Delta in Wadi Natrun valley. With liquids for only one day, they roamed through the desert for four days until a Bedouin on a camel stumbled upon them. At the time, they were suffering from vivid hallucinations and had been near dehydration. The life and death experience from the desert is what inspired the story of a pilot who wrecked into Sahara and was in a race with time to fix the plane before he runs out of the water.
Additional Interesting Facts Regarding Inspiration
The character of a rose was inspired by Antoine’s Salvadorian wife Consuelo Suncin de Sandoval. She was his true love and muse. Consuelo had asthma which might be one of the reasons why the rose was presented so fragile and used to cough a lot. The field of roses the little prince encounters while traveling the earth is a symbol for Antoine’s numerous affairs and the fox’s explanation of relationship and taming represents Antoine’s acknowledgment of the meaning of true love.
Sheep in the little prince was most likely inspired by Antoine’s friend poodle. And baobabs were mention to represent Nazism that threatened to corrupt the world. Volcanos on the planet of the little prince were also a real thing. His wife Consuelo was from Salvador which is also know as the land of volcanos. And it is from here hometown that you could see three volcanos which inspired Antoine to arrange the little prince’s planet.
And now, for the famous asteroid B-612. 621 is most probably the version of the plane he flew in for some time. An additional interesting fact related to flying is that Antoine remained remembered as a very undisciplined pilot. He used to read and write while in the air. His cockpit would be full of crumpled pieces of paper on which he wrote his thoughts. And more than once, he even refused to land his plane before finishing the novel he started to read after he took off.