The Little Prince Love letters – Consuelo and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Today, on Thursday 6 May 2021 the love letters of The Little Prince author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and his wife Consuelo, will be published in France. More than 160 love letters and telegrams will be published in addition to their sketches and photographs.
French aviator Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger (1900-1944)—the Count of Saint-Exupéry—met Salvadoran-French writer Consuelo Suncin de Sandoval (1901-1979) in Buenos Aires in 1930. It is said that within hours of meeting her, Antoine knew that she would be his wife.
They travelled together to Paris, Casablanca, and New York in an on-and-off romance and marriage.
This romance inspired Antoine to write the fictional children’s novella, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), which was published in 1943.
The war hero wrote one of the most famous books in history, selling more than 200 million copies in 450 translated versions.
The Little Prince visits many planets in the Universe, including planet Earth, looking for love, and his relationships with delicate and demanding flower, a rose, that he has been looking after on his home planet.
The story is based on his real life rose, his wife Consuelo.
He was moody, depressive, and a philanderer. She was tempestuous, flighty, and sharp-tongued. So, it is said. Despite their break-ups, affairs, and reconciliations, their love was eternal.
In one of his final letters, Antoine wrote to Consuelo, “Consuelo, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my wife … if I am killed, I have someone to wait for in eternity.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had joined the French Resistance from exile in the United States. He disappeared on a reconnaissance flight from Corsica in July 1944. The plane was not discovered until 1998 when a fisherman from Marseilles found a silver identity bracelet with both of their names engraved on it.
Their marriage was not supported by his family because she was a foreigner. She had her revenge after her husband’s death because, on her death in 1979, she gave half of her royalty-rights for The Little Prince to her gardener-chauffeur Jose Fructuoso Martinez—along with all of their love letters. This upset Antoine’s family even more.
In 2008, the Saint-Exupéry family successfully sued the gardener after he published a book about Antoine and Consuelo’s relationship without their permission.
In 2014, the gardener Jose successfully sued the Saint-Exupéry family to force them to pay him some of the revenues from a cartoon version of The Little Prince. Jose, born in 1936, died in 2015, and his shares remained with his estate.
Now, in 2021, the love letters will be published by French publisher Gallimard. This marks the end of a “fruitless 18-year legal war”—the publisher said—and a reconciliation between the gardener and the Saint-Exupéry family.
French biographer Alain Vircondelet said that there is much more correspondence that remains unseen. Where are they? The unseen love letters and correspondence are in the hands of the gardener’s widow, Martine Martinez-Fructuoso.
Martine Martinez-Fructuoso has “a colossal treasure on Saint-Exupéry” said Vircondelet to the Agence France Presse (AFP).
In the very first letter in 1930 from Buenos Aires to his wife, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, wrote:
“I remember a very old story, I’m changing it a little. There was a small boy who discovered a treasure. But the treasure was too beautiful for a child whose eyes didn’t know how to comprehend it or his arms to hold it. So, the child grew sad.”