Updated: Jun 25, 2020
First published in April 1943, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is a novella for children written and illustrated by French aristocrat, writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The story of the Little Prince, who travels the universe in search of knowledge, has been translated into 300 languages and sold over 140 million copies worldwide, with critics drawing parallels between the roving prince and the life of the author, who escaped to North America after the outbreak of the Second World War. The original manuscript, stained by coffee cups, burnt by cigarettes and marked with corrections in Saint-Exupéry's own handwriting, features images that feel less constrained, and somehow more confrontational than the markedly more colourful, child-friendly images that appear in the published version.
Early illustration from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)
via The Morgan Library and Museum