PARIS: France is marking the 70th anniversary of the world-loved “The Little Prince” with a host of special editions, including a new biography of its author, native son Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
“Le Petit Prince”, a series of parables in which a boy prince recounts his adventures among the stars to a downed pilot on Earth, was first published in New York in 1943, in English and French.
Since then, more than 145 million copies have been sold worldwide, translated into 270 languages and dialects.
A pilot, Saint-Exupery died mysteriously during a 1944 reconnaissance mission aged 44 and so did not live to see the publication of his book in France in 1946, following the end of World War II.
To mark the anniversary, a new biography by Virgil Tanase is being published while an earlier book “Saint-Exupery, Archangel and Writer” by Nathalie des Vallieres is being reissued.
Publisher Folio is issuing a limited edition with a booklet of 24 drawings by Saint-Exupery as well as a cartoon version.
A CD of the popular 1954 recording of the book narrated by Gerard Philippe is also available.
Later in the year, another edition will feature the original manuscript while an e-book will include archive drawings and other special features.