Day 27: Fairy Tale Poll!

OK, so now that we’ve discussed these tales, included how they’ve been changed, what version is your favorite?

Let’s have a poll!

Feel free to explain your answer  in the comments!

Day 17: Going French

So we leave the Grimm Brothers behind (for a moment! We’ll be back there shortly) and head to France, where, a hundred plus before the Grimms, Charles Perrault was writing his fairy tales.

Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was a member of the Academie Francais, and laid the foundation for the genre of “fairy tales”, as we know them. The Grimm Brothers took inspiration from him, as we’ve seen, when compiling and writing their own tales. The Grimm Brothers also re-wrote some of his tales in their own fashion, namely his most famous tale: Cinderella.

Perrault published Tales and Stories of the Past With Morals in 1697, but known by the more famous name Mother Goose. The publication of this introduced the genre of fairy tale, and expanded his fame well beyond his literary circle in France.

Tomorrow we’ll start discussing his tales, especially Cinderella, but here’s a list of his best-known stories:

  • Cinderella (first published by Perrault)
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Puss in Boots
  • Bluebeard
  • Sleeping Beauty (La belle du bois dormant)–an original tale by Perrault

Day 13: Once Upon A Time…

We had fairy tales.

Well, we’ve probably always had them, in both oral and written form. They’re such a part of any culture that it’s hard to track their exact development. And most cultures have variations on the same “themes” or archtypes. In China, for example, the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is called “Lon po po”, and was actually one of my favorites as a kid. (The illustrations in the copy I had might have had something to do with that. They were awesome.)

A Frenchwoman, Madame d’Aulncy, invented the term “fairy tale” in the 17th century: conte de fee, in French. The stories always contain an element of magic, and they begin with “Once Upon A Time” to invoke a time when magic actually existed in day to day life. It also can explain why we don’t have dragons or local fairies hovering around in the 21st century.

In the West, there are three main sources or schools of fairy tales that we’re familiar with:

  1. The Brothers Grimm–German
  2. Charles Perrault–French
  3. Hans Christian Andersen–Danish

We’ll go through each of these authors, their works and its characteristics, and some of their best-known tales–and how those tales as written are different from the version we think we know.