5 Facts About The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is arguably one of the most charming children’s books of all time. In preparation for the next Bushwick Book Club Seattle event inspired by the book, I took to the Internet to look for interesting facts about both the book and the author. What I found was a little bit of fascination and even some mystery.

It was written on Long Island

Author de Saint-Exupéry spent a good part of 1942 writing the novella in Asharoken, Long Island. The library near there honors the book and de Saint-Exupéry with a charming bronze statue of the prince. The author and his wife only lived on Long Island that one year and he called their home there, “a haven for writing, the best place I have ever had anywhere in my life.”

There are many statues and museums dedicated to the prince and de Saint-Exupéry

Besides the statue in Long Island there are museums devoted to de Saint-Exupéry and his book in Morocco and Japan. There are multiple statues in France including on of both the Little Prince and de Saint-Exupéry on the Place Bellecour in Lyons. Wallingford’s own Meridian Playground has a rock honoring the book in one of their stone walls around the playground.

de Saint-Exupéry really was marooned in the desert

Just like the beginning of the book, where a pilot is lost in the desert, de Saint-Exupéry himself was stuck in the Sahara desert with his navigator for four days after they crashed their plane. Trying to break the speed record in a Paris-to-Saigon air race, the two survived the crash and lived on a small amount wine, coffee, fruit and chocolate until they were rescued by Bedouins.

It’s also a musical Little Prince musical with Bob Fosse as snake

Filmed on location in Tunisia, the movie is the first Little Prince adaptation in English and was released in 1974. It starred Bob Fosse as the snake and Gene Wilder as the fox. Fosse’s dance moves heavily influenced Michael Jackson’s style and it can be seen in Fosse’s snake solo. In addition to a musical, the book has also been adapted to a popular anime series and an opera.

He died mysteriously

The  year after The Little Prince was published, de Saint-Exupéry was flying for France in World War II. He was on a reconnaissance mission when he and his plane vanished. Assumed crashed, his body was never found. In 1998, a fisherman found a silver bracelet with the author’s name. The remains of the plane were eventually found in 2004.
The Little Prince is one of my favorite books and I’m super psyched for it to be giving the Bushwick treatment. What little known facts do you know about the book or de Saint-Exupéry? Share it with us in the comments!