The Devoted Friend


Oscar Wilde

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Tonight, we’ll rebroadcast the story of “The Devoted Friend,” written by Oscar Wilde and published in 1910. This episode originally aired on November 9, 2020.

Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for his homosexuality.

In this fable, told by a linnet, or songbird in the finch family, to teach a water rat some life skills, Hans is an innocent gardener and the devoted friend of a wealthy but manipulative Miller. In this story, Wilde pokes fun at a society where charity is less about love and more about ensuring that the wealthy benefit.