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"Little Prince" discovery offers new insight into classic children's book

A manuscript draft for classic children's book The Little Prince, by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery is presented by auction house Art Curial in Paris, Thursday May 3, 2012. The only known draft pages, a two-page manuscript written in 1941 with an estimated value of between 40,000 and 50,000 euros, (US dlrs 52,000 to 65,000), and will be put on sale next May 16, in Paris.(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
Remy de la Mauviniere
A manuscript draft for classic children's book "The Little Prince," by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery is presented by auction house Art Curial in Paris,May 3, 2012.
AP

(CBS/AP) The only known draft pages of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic children's book "The Little Prince" are on display at a Paris auction house, ahead of their sale this month.

The two fragile handwritten sheets, brimming with original musings and even a new character, were discovered two months ago in France in private hands.

They were either omitted or modified in the published version, but the previously unknown texts may shed valuable new light on the book's real meaning.

The author, who wrote from New York during World War II, was known to be a pacifist. But Saint-Exupery expert Olivier Devers says the new material indicates it actually was "a book against war."

The draft pages, which go to auction on May 16, are estimated to fetch $52,000 - $65,000.