Friday, 28. March 2008
SurLaLune Fairy Tales
What Is a Fairy Tale?
An Introduction to Fairy Tale Studies
Cinderella by Jessie Willcox Smith
I will state clearly that fairy tales do not have to be stories about fairies. Also, fairy tales are part of folklore, but folk tales are not necessarily fairy tales. The simplest way to explain this is to think of fairy tales as a subgenre of folklore along with myths and legends. If that is enough to answer your questions, stop here. It is as simple as this exercise is going to get.
The simpler question to answer is why these tales are called "fairy tales." It is from the influence of the women writers in the French Salons who dubbed their tales "contes de fees." The term was translated into English as "fairy tales." The name became so widely used due to the popularity of the French tales, that it began to be used to describe similar tales such as those by the Grimms and Hans Christian Andersen.
"The Princess on the Pea"
Although similar tales existed before he included "The Princess on the Pea" in his Tales Told For Children (1835), Hans Christian Andersen is considered to be the populizer of the tale.
|He also included traits which had not existed previously, primarily the actual sensitivity of the princess to the pea under the bedding.|
Previous versions of the tale had the princess learning about the test from a sympathetic helper. She then passes the test with her cunning and foreknowledge. Andersen, on the other hand, liked the idea of a princess' true sensitivity and thus makes the princess an innocent victim of a bad night's sleep.
The tale has been interpreted in many books, illustrations and even for Broadway in the musical, Once Upon a Mattress, written by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer. The musical, now popular in high school revivals, was an original hit in 1959 starring Carol Burnett. It was revived for Broadway in 1997 starring Sarah Jessica Parker.
Princess and the Pea by Edmund Dulac
A portal to the realm of fairy tale and folklore studies featuring 45 annotated fairy tales, including their histories, similar tales across cultures, and over 1,400 illustrations. Discover over 1,500 folk & fairy tales from around the world. And read some full text books!
SurLaLune Fairy Tales
by Heidi Anne Heiner.
Colourful, informative and very dreamy!