On Fairy Tales

“The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories" 

137_3785Susan here, thinking about fairy tales lately. My bookshelves are crammed full, like the bookshelves of every Wench author and most if not all of our blog readers. And a couple of my shelves are devoted to fairy tales. From old, tattered, beloved childhood copies to antique fairy tale books to paperback anthologies and academic studies of fairy tale themes, this bunch of books doesn't gather a lot of dust at my house—because I still read fairy tales. I still love them. 

“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” –Mae West

BooksInWinter_JesseWilcoxSmithI have some familiar favorites, like an old copy of the complete tales of The Brothers Grimm, the tales of Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Perrault, and of course Andrew Lang—The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, the Green Fairy Book (and The Yellow, Pink, Grey, Violet, Crimson, Scarlet, Orange, Olive and Lilac Books)

Of the Little Golden Books I had in childhood, my favorite was The Twelve Dancing Becket-4 Princesses, exquisitely illustrated by Sheilah Beckett. When I was very little, I treasured an old copy of The Tall Book of Fairy Tales by Eleanor Graham Vance. Not sure where it came from, but once I got my sticky little hands on it, it was mine, mine. Another favorite is more recent, a beautiful reprint of Steel’s English Fairy Tales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham. And then there are the Joseph Jacobs Celtic Fairy Tales, and Irish fairytales collected by W.B. Yeats … and so many others, old and new.

And that’s just the stories. I enjoy reading studies of fairy tales too. I have a dog-eared, read and reread copy of Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment, Marina Warner’s fabulous From the Beast to the Blonde, and some of the work of Jack Zipes, and more.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” –Albert Einstein

Fairy tales go back eons, as far back as myths and legends, probably as far back as the darkest of caves and the brightest of fires, and the urge to explain why the stars wink, why the wind blows, why thunderclouds look like dragons, why a shaft of sunlight or rainbows can be like a good fairy come to the rescue. Stories explore life and give us choices and tools to address and Princess and frogcomprehend what we encounter in the realm of reality.

But what did I know about absorbing life lessons–and storytelling techniques–from fairy tales. I was into the princess, the frog, the prince, wicked witch, good fairy, ragamuffin, the castle, the mountain, the happy ending–and the chills when things didn't work out, and the thrill when they did. And I was all about the illustrations, too–sat turning pages just for the pictures, copied them in crayons. Whatever lessons about good and evil, right and wrong were definitely subliminal. I was just having a great time, and yet I was learning life skills for what I might encounter later.

"In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected." –Charles Dickens

It’s widely accepted by now that fairy tales, myths and legends are important for building, expanding and strengthening a child’s understanding of the big wide world, of life, of good and evil, right and wrong, clever and stupid, cruel and kind and everything in between. Fairy tales give us something to hope for and to achieve, something to fear and overcome. They show kids that there are basic tools in life for everyone to use—like compassion, independence, loyalty, cleverness and ingenuity, as well as their not-so-rewarding opposite qualities of cruelty, greed, so on.

Lang blue parrot The_Two_Kings'_Children_by_Elenore_AbbottGood doesn’t always triumph in fairy stories, though it often does. Whatever the outcome of the story, fairy tales provide a matrix for understanding people and situations through essential archetypes, classic scenarios, what choices work and what choices don’t turn out well.

Fairy tales give us a glimpse of another, more mysterious world beyond our own practical earthly world—the otherworld of fairies, elves, witches, dragons, dark ones. It’s not that kids might think these are real—that’s not the point. They learn that there are forces in life that we can’t always control or explain, they learn that what seems dark and scary can be met with strength and integrity. And they learn that no matter the outcome, it’s possible to find courage to do the best thing for ourselves and others.

“The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous 'turn' (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist,' nor 'fugitive.' In its fairy-tale–or otherworld–setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur.”  –J. R. R. Tolkein

Arthur_Rackham_Little_Red_Riding_Hood+And of course there’s that happily ever after thing that we associate with fairy tales, particularly the later homogenized versions–the beautiful princess and prince charming, the courtship, the challenges, the misunderstanding, the final reveal, the foregone conclusion of the beautiful happy people in their beautiful happy kingdom. But anyone who has read fairy tales in their older and original versions knows that the HEA is never guaranteed. We’re sometimes on the edge of our seat, metaphorically so, when following a fairy tale, and we might be left dangling, disappointed, even horrified—or richly rewarded. And that’s life. 

“There is the great lesson of 'Beauty and the Beast,' that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Reading fairy tales early on led me to reading and then writing romance, especially historical, sometimes paranormal. It’s a short leap in the storytelling canon from fairy tales to the fairytale existence of romance. There’s more to fairy tales than courtship and HEA – and far more to romance novels, too. The elements of good storytelling found in romance can be found in fairy tales, elements that can elevate the story to something powerful and lasting. There's the hero, the heroine, 1420424
the challenge, the courtship, the quest, the villain–and the need for hero/prince and heroine/princess to conquer their shadow self in order to grow and overcome and find the final prize, the love that they have been seeking. Toss in a villain or two, the excitement of quests and personal journeys, and you can have a solid romance based on enduring fairytale elements.

So I cut my baby writer’s teeth on fairy stories, absorbed their forms and designs even while I thought I was just enjoying some good tales. As a kid, I took in mythologies and themes and archetypes and carried that forward into life and into my own stories. There’s a fairy tale or three woven into every novel I’ve ever written, one way or another. 

StGeorge_Dijon_12th century

"Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”  –G. K. Chesterton

What about you? Did you love fairy tales, did you cut your writer’s or reader’s teeth on Cinderella and Snow White, Rose Red and other stories? What were your favorites – what scared you, inspired you, gave you something to dream about?

75 thoughts on “On Fairy Tales”

  1. As a child, I had no books of my own, but a neighbor had a huge library I lusted after. And on the bottom shelves were beautiful hard bound shelves of fairy tale. I’d go over to pretend to visit with the kids and sneak off to read them! They have so many, many purposes, but it’s never a bad thing to stretch the imagination.

    Reply
  2. As a child, I had no books of my own, but a neighbor had a huge library I lusted after. And on the bottom shelves were beautiful hard bound shelves of fairy tale. I’d go over to pretend to visit with the kids and sneak off to read them! They have so many, many purposes, but it’s never a bad thing to stretch the imagination.

    Reply
  3. As a child, I had no books of my own, but a neighbor had a huge library I lusted after. And on the bottom shelves were beautiful hard bound shelves of fairy tale. I’d go over to pretend to visit with the kids and sneak off to read them! They have so many, many purposes, but it’s never a bad thing to stretch the imagination.

    Reply
  4. As a child, I had no books of my own, but a neighbor had a huge library I lusted after. And on the bottom shelves were beautiful hard bound shelves of fairy tale. I’d go over to pretend to visit with the kids and sneak off to read them! They have so many, many purposes, but it’s never a bad thing to stretch the imagination.

    Reply
  5. As a child, I had no books of my own, but a neighbor had a huge library I lusted after. And on the bottom shelves were beautiful hard bound shelves of fairy tale. I’d go over to pretend to visit with the kids and sneak off to read them! They have so many, many purposes, but it’s never a bad thing to stretch the imagination.

    Reply
  6. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  7. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  8. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  9. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  10. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  11. I was equally into fairy tales and myths and legends. All stories, all the time. *G* I suppose they nourished my love of adventure, fantasy, and romance all at once.
    Most of all–they were FUN!!!
    PS: I love Artemesia’s quote: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  12. I was equally into fairy tales and myths and legends. All stories, all the time. *G* I suppose they nourished my love of adventure, fantasy, and romance all at once.
    Most of all–they were FUN!!!
    PS: I love Artemesia’s quote: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  13. I was equally into fairy tales and myths and legends. All stories, all the time. *G* I suppose they nourished my love of adventure, fantasy, and romance all at once.
    Most of all–they were FUN!!!
    PS: I love Artemesia’s quote: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  14. I was equally into fairy tales and myths and legends. All stories, all the time. *G* I suppose they nourished my love of adventure, fantasy, and romance all at once.
    Most of all–they were FUN!!!
    PS: I love Artemesia’s quote: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  15. I was equally into fairy tales and myths and legends. All stories, all the time. *G* I suppose they nourished my love of adventure, fantasy, and romance all at once.
    Most of all–they were FUN!!!
    PS: I love Artemesia’s quote: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Chesterton

    Reply
  16. Love the quote, Artemisia. I had some fun going through the many fairy tale quotes that are out there! I think so many of us were into fairy tales and myths and legends as kids, and that’s partly why we love historical fiction as adults.
    And there’s also the essential importance of “story” in its many forms and incarnations – when one of my kids was in elementary and middle school, he didn’t enjoy reading and didn’t want someone reading to him, but loved stories. So I gave him books on CD – fairy tales, myths, legends, Tolkien, and the fiction he was reading for class. He was simply more auditory and that worked beautifully for him. I just wanted to be sure he got the benefits of story structure and archetypes. It paid off in a big way for him – he’s a big reader now, very discerning and perceptive.

    Reply
  17. Love the quote, Artemisia. I had some fun going through the many fairy tale quotes that are out there! I think so many of us were into fairy tales and myths and legends as kids, and that’s partly why we love historical fiction as adults.
    And there’s also the essential importance of “story” in its many forms and incarnations – when one of my kids was in elementary and middle school, he didn’t enjoy reading and didn’t want someone reading to him, but loved stories. So I gave him books on CD – fairy tales, myths, legends, Tolkien, and the fiction he was reading for class. He was simply more auditory and that worked beautifully for him. I just wanted to be sure he got the benefits of story structure and archetypes. It paid off in a big way for him – he’s a big reader now, very discerning and perceptive.

    Reply
  18. Love the quote, Artemisia. I had some fun going through the many fairy tale quotes that are out there! I think so many of us were into fairy tales and myths and legends as kids, and that’s partly why we love historical fiction as adults.
    And there’s also the essential importance of “story” in its many forms and incarnations – when one of my kids was in elementary and middle school, he didn’t enjoy reading and didn’t want someone reading to him, but loved stories. So I gave him books on CD – fairy tales, myths, legends, Tolkien, and the fiction he was reading for class. He was simply more auditory and that worked beautifully for him. I just wanted to be sure he got the benefits of story structure and archetypes. It paid off in a big way for him – he’s a big reader now, very discerning and perceptive.

    Reply
  19. Love the quote, Artemisia. I had some fun going through the many fairy tale quotes that are out there! I think so many of us were into fairy tales and myths and legends as kids, and that’s partly why we love historical fiction as adults.
    And there’s also the essential importance of “story” in its many forms and incarnations – when one of my kids was in elementary and middle school, he didn’t enjoy reading and didn’t want someone reading to him, but loved stories. So I gave him books on CD – fairy tales, myths, legends, Tolkien, and the fiction he was reading for class. He was simply more auditory and that worked beautifully for him. I just wanted to be sure he got the benefits of story structure and archetypes. It paid off in a big way for him – he’s a big reader now, very discerning and perceptive.

    Reply
  20. Love the quote, Artemisia. I had some fun going through the many fairy tale quotes that are out there! I think so many of us were into fairy tales and myths and legends as kids, and that’s partly why we love historical fiction as adults.
    And there’s also the essential importance of “story” in its many forms and incarnations – when one of my kids was in elementary and middle school, he didn’t enjoy reading and didn’t want someone reading to him, but loved stories. So I gave him books on CD – fairy tales, myths, legends, Tolkien, and the fiction he was reading for class. He was simply more auditory and that worked beautifully for him. I just wanted to be sure he got the benefits of story structure and archetypes. It paid off in a big way for him – he’s a big reader now, very discerning and perceptive.

    Reply
  21. Wonderful post, Susan. One of my most beloved books as a child — and I still have it — is a big old book called Fairy Tales from Other Lands, and it contains fairy tales from a wide range of cultures.
    One of my favorite illustrators of fairy tales is Arthur Rackham.

    Reply
  22. Wonderful post, Susan. One of my most beloved books as a child — and I still have it — is a big old book called Fairy Tales from Other Lands, and it contains fairy tales from a wide range of cultures.
    One of my favorite illustrators of fairy tales is Arthur Rackham.

    Reply
  23. Wonderful post, Susan. One of my most beloved books as a child — and I still have it — is a big old book called Fairy Tales from Other Lands, and it contains fairy tales from a wide range of cultures.
    One of my favorite illustrators of fairy tales is Arthur Rackham.

    Reply
  24. Wonderful post, Susan. One of my most beloved books as a child — and I still have it — is a big old book called Fairy Tales from Other Lands, and it contains fairy tales from a wide range of cultures.
    One of my favorite illustrators of fairy tales is Arthur Rackham.

    Reply
  25. Wonderful post, Susan. One of my most beloved books as a child — and I still have it — is a big old book called Fairy Tales from Other Lands, and it contains fairy tales from a wide range of cultures.
    One of my favorite illustrators of fairy tales is Arthur Rackham.

    Reply
  26. This is one of the best (and most beautifully illustrated)Word Wenches post I’ve read. It reminds me to buy some fairy tale books for my grandchildren, too.
    I’ve always been a Cinderella girl, and can’t seem to break the habit in my writing. 🙂

    Reply
  27. This is one of the best (and most beautifully illustrated)Word Wenches post I’ve read. It reminds me to buy some fairy tale books for my grandchildren, too.
    I’ve always been a Cinderella girl, and can’t seem to break the habit in my writing. 🙂

    Reply
  28. This is one of the best (and most beautifully illustrated)Word Wenches post I’ve read. It reminds me to buy some fairy tale books for my grandchildren, too.
    I’ve always been a Cinderella girl, and can’t seem to break the habit in my writing. 🙂

    Reply
  29. This is one of the best (and most beautifully illustrated)Word Wenches post I’ve read. It reminds me to buy some fairy tale books for my grandchildren, too.
    I’ve always been a Cinderella girl, and can’t seem to break the habit in my writing. 🙂

    Reply
  30. This is one of the best (and most beautifully illustrated)Word Wenches post I’ve read. It reminds me to buy some fairy tale books for my grandchildren, too.
    I’ve always been a Cinderella girl, and can’t seem to break the habit in my writing. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Thanks, Anne. So agree about Rackham!
    His illustrations – for fairy tales, and for other stories and Shakespeare too – have an inherently magical, ethereal quality, exquisitely expressive in fluidity of line, in delicacy and soft color that is perfect – a timeless evocation of fairy stories.

    Reply
  32. Thanks, Anne. So agree about Rackham!
    His illustrations – for fairy tales, and for other stories and Shakespeare too – have an inherently magical, ethereal quality, exquisitely expressive in fluidity of line, in delicacy and soft color that is perfect – a timeless evocation of fairy stories.

    Reply
  33. Thanks, Anne. So agree about Rackham!
    His illustrations – for fairy tales, and for other stories and Shakespeare too – have an inherently magical, ethereal quality, exquisitely expressive in fluidity of line, in delicacy and soft color that is perfect – a timeless evocation of fairy stories.

    Reply
  34. Thanks, Anne. So agree about Rackham!
    His illustrations – for fairy tales, and for other stories and Shakespeare too – have an inherently magical, ethereal quality, exquisitely expressive in fluidity of line, in delicacy and soft color that is perfect – a timeless evocation of fairy stories.

    Reply
  35. Thanks, Anne. So agree about Rackham!
    His illustrations – for fairy tales, and for other stories and Shakespeare too – have an inherently magical, ethereal quality, exquisitely expressive in fluidity of line, in delicacy and soft color that is perfect – a timeless evocation of fairy stories.

    Reply
  36. Maggie, thank you, I so appreciate that! It’s such a fun subject to blog about (and find illustrations for!). I love Cinderella too – I’m glad it’s working its magic in your stories!

    Reply
  37. Maggie, thank you, I so appreciate that! It’s such a fun subject to blog about (and find illustrations for!). I love Cinderella too – I’m glad it’s working its magic in your stories!

    Reply
  38. Maggie, thank you, I so appreciate that! It’s such a fun subject to blog about (and find illustrations for!). I love Cinderella too – I’m glad it’s working its magic in your stories!

    Reply
  39. Maggie, thank you, I so appreciate that! It’s such a fun subject to blog about (and find illustrations for!). I love Cinderella too – I’m glad it’s working its magic in your stories!

    Reply
  40. Maggie, thank you, I so appreciate that! It’s such a fun subject to blog about (and find illustrations for!). I love Cinderella too – I’m glad it’s working its magic in your stories!

    Reply
  41. My parents were of a scientific and engineering bent. And I had two brothers who were a year and two years younger than I. I had a Cinderella and a Beauty and the Beast Golden Books. I think we had a collection of the sanitized Grimms’ fairy tales. But most of the books in our library where Dr. Seuss or Tell Me Why series. My Dad also told us stories about one curious girl and two intrepid boys at bedtime. When we started going to the library, I was reading Nancy Drew, Little Home on the Prairie, and the Hardy Boys. This makes me wonder how much I’ve missed out.
    I know that with romances that make references to Greek and Norse myths have led me to read those tales much later in life.

    Reply
  42. My parents were of a scientific and engineering bent. And I had two brothers who were a year and two years younger than I. I had a Cinderella and a Beauty and the Beast Golden Books. I think we had a collection of the sanitized Grimms’ fairy tales. But most of the books in our library where Dr. Seuss or Tell Me Why series. My Dad also told us stories about one curious girl and two intrepid boys at bedtime. When we started going to the library, I was reading Nancy Drew, Little Home on the Prairie, and the Hardy Boys. This makes me wonder how much I’ve missed out.
    I know that with romances that make references to Greek and Norse myths have led me to read those tales much later in life.

    Reply
  43. My parents were of a scientific and engineering bent. And I had two brothers who were a year and two years younger than I. I had a Cinderella and a Beauty and the Beast Golden Books. I think we had a collection of the sanitized Grimms’ fairy tales. But most of the books in our library where Dr. Seuss or Tell Me Why series. My Dad also told us stories about one curious girl and two intrepid boys at bedtime. When we started going to the library, I was reading Nancy Drew, Little Home on the Prairie, and the Hardy Boys. This makes me wonder how much I’ve missed out.
    I know that with romances that make references to Greek and Norse myths have led me to read those tales much later in life.

    Reply
  44. My parents were of a scientific and engineering bent. And I had two brothers who were a year and two years younger than I. I had a Cinderella and a Beauty and the Beast Golden Books. I think we had a collection of the sanitized Grimms’ fairy tales. But most of the books in our library where Dr. Seuss or Tell Me Why series. My Dad also told us stories about one curious girl and two intrepid boys at bedtime. When we started going to the library, I was reading Nancy Drew, Little Home on the Prairie, and the Hardy Boys. This makes me wonder how much I’ve missed out.
    I know that with romances that make references to Greek and Norse myths have led me to read those tales much later in life.

    Reply
  45. My parents were of a scientific and engineering bent. And I had two brothers who were a year and two years younger than I. I had a Cinderella and a Beauty and the Beast Golden Books. I think we had a collection of the sanitized Grimms’ fairy tales. But most of the books in our library where Dr. Seuss or Tell Me Why series. My Dad also told us stories about one curious girl and two intrepid boys at bedtime. When we started going to the library, I was reading Nancy Drew, Little Home on the Prairie, and the Hardy Boys. This makes me wonder how much I’ve missed out.
    I know that with romances that make references to Greek and Norse myths have led me to read those tales much later in life.

    Reply
  46. Shannon, sounds like you had plenty of storytelling going on – how cool and sweet of your father to tell you stories about a curious girl and her intrepid brothers! Sounds like a fairy tale construction right there!
    And if you’re a little behind on your fairy tale reading, it’s easy to catch up! 😉

    Reply
  47. Shannon, sounds like you had plenty of storytelling going on – how cool and sweet of your father to tell you stories about a curious girl and her intrepid brothers! Sounds like a fairy tale construction right there!
    And if you’re a little behind on your fairy tale reading, it’s easy to catch up! 😉

    Reply
  48. Shannon, sounds like you had plenty of storytelling going on – how cool and sweet of your father to tell you stories about a curious girl and her intrepid brothers! Sounds like a fairy tale construction right there!
    And if you’re a little behind on your fairy tale reading, it’s easy to catch up! 😉

    Reply
  49. Shannon, sounds like you had plenty of storytelling going on – how cool and sweet of your father to tell you stories about a curious girl and her intrepid brothers! Sounds like a fairy tale construction right there!
    And if you’re a little behind on your fairy tale reading, it’s easy to catch up! 😉

    Reply
  50. Shannon, sounds like you had plenty of storytelling going on – how cool and sweet of your father to tell you stories about a curious girl and her intrepid brothers! Sounds like a fairy tale construction right there!
    And if you’re a little behind on your fairy tale reading, it’s easy to catch up! 😉

    Reply
  51. The Grimm Brother stories are grim. The French ones are softer. I like Beauty and the Beast the best.
    Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment in which he put forth the theory that children can learn many life lessons from fairy tales. Also they can by safely scared with out being endangered.

    Reply
  52. The Grimm Brother stories are grim. The French ones are softer. I like Beauty and the Beast the best.
    Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment in which he put forth the theory that children can learn many life lessons from fairy tales. Also they can by safely scared with out being endangered.

    Reply
  53. The Grimm Brother stories are grim. The French ones are softer. I like Beauty and the Beast the best.
    Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment in which he put forth the theory that children can learn many life lessons from fairy tales. Also they can by safely scared with out being endangered.

    Reply
  54. The Grimm Brother stories are grim. The French ones are softer. I like Beauty and the Beast the best.
    Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment in which he put forth the theory that children can learn many life lessons from fairy tales. Also they can by safely scared with out being endangered.

    Reply
  55. The Grimm Brother stories are grim. The French ones are softer. I like Beauty and the Beast the best.
    Bruno Bettelheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment in which he put forth the theory that children can learn many life lessons from fairy tales. Also they can by safely scared with out being endangered.

    Reply
  56. My fave fairy tale is “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. I just really loved the image of that sister making these nettle coat that would make her fingers bleed, and keeping a vow of silence from the Prince who loves her so that she could break the spell over her brothers’.

    Reply
  57. My fave fairy tale is “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. I just really loved the image of that sister making these nettle coat that would make her fingers bleed, and keeping a vow of silence from the Prince who loves her so that she could break the spell over her brothers’.

    Reply
  58. My fave fairy tale is “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. I just really loved the image of that sister making these nettle coat that would make her fingers bleed, and keeping a vow of silence from the Prince who loves her so that she could break the spell over her brothers’.

    Reply
  59. My fave fairy tale is “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. I just really loved the image of that sister making these nettle coat that would make her fingers bleed, and keeping a vow of silence from the Prince who loves her so that she could break the spell over her brothers’.

    Reply
  60. My fave fairy tale is “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen. I just really loved the image of that sister making these nettle coat that would make her fingers bleed, and keeping a vow of silence from the Prince who loves her so that she could break the spell over her brothers’.

    Reply
  61. Grim or softer – that’s a perfect way to put it, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too – so many layers in that story.
    You’re right, children can be safely scared, which helps them learn how to think through possible situations that may come up in life. That’s one of the best functions of fairy tales, myths and legends.

    Reply
  62. Grim or softer – that’s a perfect way to put it, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too – so many layers in that story.
    You’re right, children can be safely scared, which helps them learn how to think through possible situations that may come up in life. That’s one of the best functions of fairy tales, myths and legends.

    Reply
  63. Grim or softer – that’s a perfect way to put it, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too – so many layers in that story.
    You’re right, children can be safely scared, which helps them learn how to think through possible situations that may come up in life. That’s one of the best functions of fairy tales, myths and legends.

    Reply
  64. Grim or softer – that’s a perfect way to put it, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too – so many layers in that story.
    You’re right, children can be safely scared, which helps them learn how to think through possible situations that may come up in life. That’s one of the best functions of fairy tales, myths and legends.

    Reply
  65. Grim or softer – that’s a perfect way to put it, Nancy. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites too – so many layers in that story.
    You’re right, children can be safely scared, which helps them learn how to think through possible situations that may come up in life. That’s one of the best functions of fairy tales, myths and legends.

    Reply
  66. Sorry to be commenting so late, but beautiful post, Susan. We had Grimm’s fairy tales when I was a child, but my father also used to make up stories embroidering on them. For instance, he told us that an abandoned farmhouse in the woods near our house was the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.

    Reply
  67. Sorry to be commenting so late, but beautiful post, Susan. We had Grimm’s fairy tales when I was a child, but my father also used to make up stories embroidering on them. For instance, he told us that an abandoned farmhouse in the woods near our house was the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.

    Reply
  68. Sorry to be commenting so late, but beautiful post, Susan. We had Grimm’s fairy tales when I was a child, but my father also used to make up stories embroidering on them. For instance, he told us that an abandoned farmhouse in the woods near our house was the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.

    Reply
  69. Sorry to be commenting so late, but beautiful post, Susan. We had Grimm’s fairy tales when I was a child, but my father also used to make up stories embroidering on them. For instance, he told us that an abandoned farmhouse in the woods near our house was the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.

    Reply
  70. Sorry to be commenting so late, but beautiful post, Susan. We had Grimm’s fairy tales when I was a child, but my father also used to make up stories embroidering on them. For instance, he told us that an abandoned farmhouse in the woods near our house was the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.

    Reply

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