In 1917, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright photographed themselves with fairies in the woods behind Elsie’s home. The two girls sought to prove the existence of fairies and inadvertently caused a national sensation. National celebrities from the manager of Kodak to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle came forward to analyze the legitimacy of the fairy figures in the photographs.
The girls claimed that the images were real throughout their lives. Elsie confessed that the whole story was a hoax a few years before her death, but Frances swore that fairies lived in the Cottingley woods. In 1998, a film (Fairy Tale - A True Story) chronicled the girls’ rise to fame and the troubles that coincided.
Whether you believe in the folklore or not, this unique and magical story is one any child-at-heart can appreciate. The girls reminded people of the value of imagination at a time when the world was recovering from a desolate war.
This site offers fascinating information including a more detailed history, periodical quotes, and the original photographs. See them for yourself and decide whether the truth or the belief is more compelling.
Yesterday I watched Tangled (which I’d wanted to for a while now), so today I read Rapunzel.
First of all, the story should come with a warning. Warning: this story contains eye gouging. Ouch!
"The man in his terror agreed to everything she asked, and as soon as the child was born the Witch appeared, and having given it the name of Rapunzel which is the same as rampion, she carried it off with her.”
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your golden hair," And as soon as she had let it down the Prince climbed up. At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man came in…" Well then why did she let him up?! I should hope the Prince and the Witch don’t sound alike. Then again…evil witch…hmmm.
In some versions of the tale, Rapunzel becomes pregnant due to the nightly visits of the prince. When the witch separates Rapunzel and the Prince, he finds her again (in the forest, blinded, no less) with his babies. Ooh la la.
Rapunzel is named after the Rampion plant, pictured above, which is a spinach/lettuce like plant. (I just realized how weird the word spinach is.)
I noticed that a common theme in fairy tales is theft. A few days ago I noted that the girls in “The Old Witch” has stolen her money. The “good” sister escaped punishment for this crime. While the witches in these stories take the wrong form of retribution, it is important to remember that the witches crimes were instigated by theft.
I wonder how they got Rapunzel in the tower…
Tangled was great. It kept many of the elements of the original tale (though thankfully leaving out the eye-horror) and the changes in many ways still reflect the themes of the story. Glad I saw it!
Not a fairy tale, but in remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, I read the Tell-Tale Heart today. While it’s not a traditional fairy tale, I think some of Poe’s stories kind of have the same feeling and tone as the original Grimm, Anderson, etc tales. And a lot of the original fairy tales have the same dark and ominous feeling that Poe’s stories tend to have. So here is the Tell-Tale Heart.
“The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: —it continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness —until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.”
This story is so odd. How would even the most sensitive person feel a pea 20 mattresses or featherbeds down?
"One evening a fearful tempest arose, it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in torrents: besides, it was as dark as pitch. All at once there was heard a violent knocking at the door, and the old King, the Prince’s father, went out himself to open it.
It was a Princess who was standing outside the door. What with the rain and the wind, she was in a sad condition; the water trickled down from her hair, and her clothes clung to her body. She said she was a real Princess.”
There is a further mystery in this story. What happened to this princess that she was wandering around in the storm and the dark like she was? How did she get to the palace?
Apparently, Goldilocks was not originally a little girl, but once an old woman in Joseph Jacob and other’s early versions of the tale. Like many fairy tales, the story was changed over time (not just when orally passed down, but after being published), so that the main character became the young blonde. In this version, it is Goldilocks and not an old woman who ransacks the bears’ home. Like most fairy tales, it is great to see the differences between this version of the story and the “cleaner” version we usually hear.
"Goldilocks had heard in her sleep the great, rough, gruff voice of the Great, Huge Bear; but she was so fast asleep that it was no more to her than the roaring of wind or the rumbling of thunder. And she had heard the middle voice of the Middle Bear, but it was only as if she had heard someone speaking in a dream. But when she heard the little, small, wee voice of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, it was so sharp, and so shrill, that it awakened her at once."
“Out the little old Woman (soon to become Goldilocks) jumped; and whether she broke her neck in the fall; or ran into the wood and was lost there; or found her way out of the wood, and was taken up by the constable and sent to the House of Correction for a vagrant as she was, I cannot tell. But the Three Bears never saw anything more of her.”
Sudden realization: Goldilocks was the original “Bed Intruder!”
"Climbing in you window, she’s snatchin’ your porridge up…"
The title is the Old Witch but the story is more about two sisters who go two different paths. It reminds me slightly of the Rose Red & Snow White story but here the sisters are not close (apparently).
One sister goes off and is nice to everyone. When she runs into trouble with the witch, the help she once gave to others is returned to her. Her sister follows the same path, but is not nice to those along her path, so when she runs into the same trouble, she does not get any help. The moral (as fairy tales and fables commonly have) is that you must be nice to others to get niceness in return.
(image from google)
However, I would like to note that the girls in the story, while painted to be good (well, the first sister anyway), the trouble with the witch comes when they STEAL from her. So It’s hard to say what the real lesson is. Be nice to others and when you steal from someone, they will help you? I don’t know. Any thoughts?
Fairy tale royalty lived in style, in beautiful castles and palaces. Many stories feature high towers or moats (to keep the dragons out, of course!) or castle walls. Here are a few artistic castles and palaces, and a few real ones.
Fun Fact: Castle and Palace are not quite as interchangeable as we use them today: A castle was initially developed as a protection against attacks, while a palace was a beautifully built home for a king or a lord. The main difference being that a castle was meant to protect (that’s why many have stone walls, outer walls and moats). (Doesn’t the Prince in many versions of Sleeping Beauty have to get through the castle’s protections to get inside?)
“One of my heroes, G.K. Chesterton, said, "The old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy; it is his adventures that are startling; they startle him because he is normal." Discovering that the modern world can still contain the wonder and strangeness of a fairy tale is part of what my novels are about.”— Regina Doman
“Yes, yes,” said the Beast, “my heart is good, but still I am a monster.”
“Among mankind,” says Beauty, “there are many that deserve that name more than you, and I prefer you, just as you are, to those, who, under a human form, hide a treacherous, corrupt, and ungrateful heart.”—Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont Beauty and the Beast (via mythsweliveby)
“She said to her, “Grandmother, what great arms you have!”
“That’s to embrace you the better, my child.”
“Grandmother, what great legs you have!”
“That’s to run the better, my child.”
“Grandmother, what great ears you have!”
“That’s to hear the better, my child.”
“Grandmother, what great teeth you have!”
“That’s for to eat you.”
And upon saying these words, this naughty Wolf threw himself upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her.”—Charles Perrault Little Red Riding Hood (via mythsweliveby)
I’ve just discovered this website and it cemented my idea to create a tumblr dedicated to fairy tales and exploring my interest in them. It has links to stories by the famous fairy tale guys: Anderson, the Grimms, Perault, as well as people I had never heard of like Joseph Jacobs. There are links to essays about fairy tales, a history and timeline of fairy tales, and recommendations to stories adapted from fairy tales. It’s a great site.
Once upon a time, and twice upon a time, and all times together as ever I heard tell of it...
I don’t read as often as I do, being so in love with television as I am, so it’s taken me a while to pin down my favorite genres (for both mediums). I know that I definitely like fantasy (Harry Potter (books), Lord of the Rings (films), Angel (TV) [Buffy spinoff], etc). I sometimes like Sci-fi/Fantasy (when it’s heavy on the fantasy) (Doctor Who, Firefly). I like when my stories have romance, though I don’t care much about romance on its own, usually as a subplot to the shows I watch. I like mythology. And I like fairy tales (which stems from many of the above elements) (Disney: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, & Lion King are my favs. In terms of the tales themselves: Little Red Riding Hood, The Buried Moon.) But again, I don’t read as many Fairy Tales as I should if I claim to like them so much.
SO: an ongoing project of mine is to read more and read more fairy tales especially. I have the Grimm collection and Hans Christian Anderson collection from Barnes and Noble and most of the stories are free online anyway due to them being public domain. So I am going to use this tumblr to post pics, quotes, thoughts, reblogs, whatever about fairy tales, fairy tale adaptations, and other things as I get used to it.
I am currently in school, so posts may come in giant spurts during vacations or when I am heavily procrastinating on a paper or finding a job.
My posts shouldn’t be nearly as long as this one (who knows, I ramble, as you can see). They should mostly be pictures and maybe quotes or links to stories from other fairy tale blogs (they arent on tumblr, but blogspot has quite a few).
So yeah. Fairy Tale Scrapbook. May you live happily ever after.