June 8, 2015

english fairy tales

Hello friends! How was your weekend? I wilted like a flower in the 91 degree heat that descended on Sunday. I really hope we're not in for an entire summer of high 80's-low 90's heat because that's just TOO MUCH. But let's talk about my fairy tale book instead.

Have you noticed that I've been on a bit of tear with the more vintage-inspired books? That's just how I'm feeling these days, so I'm rolling with it.

So this is my copy of 'English Fairy Tales', retold by F.A. Steel and illustrated by the master of all things fairy-related, Arthur Rackham. I've had it since I was about ten or so I think? What I love about this book, aside from the amazing art (in black and white, as well as several full page color illustrations), is that the tales are off the beaten track. There are traditional favorites like 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'The Three Little Pigs' and 'The Story of the Three Bears', but there are also stories that you might never have come across, like 'The Well at World's End', 'Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar', 'Tattercoats' and 'The Golden Snuffbox'.

There are delightfully British tales like 'St. George of Merrie England', 'The Wee Bannock' and 'Dick Whittington and His Cat'.

And there are some that maybe some of you have never ever heard of, like 'Molly Whuppie and the Double-Faced Giant'??

I don't know why I was SO obsessed with fairy tales when I was young. I'm sure there's a great deal of psychology behind it all, but let's keep things on the short end and just say that fairy tale books were easily my favorite type of book to read. And I didn't stop reading them as I got older, I just switched to denser, more involved fairy tales. I read the entire set of the Color Fairy books by Andrew Lang multiple times over. And I still read variations of them even now. I love reading YA fiction and adult renditions of fairy tales stories. I don't think any of those are really that good, but I still like them. Has anyone read any fairy-tales-for-grownups books that are actually any good??


  1. Gorgeous, of course. You know I still love my fairy tales.

    As far as adult or YA versions of fairy tales, I really liked the very grown-up My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, edited by Kate Bernheimer. It's 40 short story variations on fairy tales by a ton of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Michael Cunningham, Francine Prose, Joyce Carol Oates... Not every story is great, but the good outnumber the bad.

    I love Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire, too. I liked it better than the Wicked books, actually.

    YA-wise, I really liked Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.

    1. aaaaaaaah thank you SO MUCH for all those suggestions!! I haven't read any of those!! Totally forgot about that short story anthology. You might like the Lunar Chronicles - 'Cinder', 'Scarlett' and 'Cress' - based on Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel - all set in a sci-fi setting. The next one comes out this winter or next year, I think it's called 'White' and it's based on Snow White's character.