Letter to a Hostage and The Little Prince were both written during the same period, from 1940 to 1943, when Saint-Exupéry had found refuge in the United States, departing from the occupied France with a grieving heart. Be directly or anonymously, his close friend, French writer Léon Werth, is commemorated in both books. Léon Werth had been forced to take refuge in the Jura region of France during the autumn of 1940 because of his Jewish origins. He is the anonymous addressee of the Letter to a Hostage and The Little Prince was dedicated to none other than him.
Letter to a Hostage was published in 1943 (Author’s edition). It’s a novel in which the oppressing loneliness of exile and the inner necessity of thinking about the destiny of the homeland are reflected. That same year, an American publishing house, Reynal & Hitchcock, published The Little Prince in English and French, with the author’s watercolor paintings.
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