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Continuing on with the fairytale theme, here are my 5 favourite fairytales of all time:
1.) Tam Lin – Scottish Ballad
An elf, Tam Lin, seduces Janet in her father’s lands and when she discovers she is pregnant and her brother suggests some herbs so that she can abort, Tam Lin appears and stops her. Janet discovers that Tam Lin was once human and sets about rescuing him from the fate of being the Faerie Queen’s tithe to hell.
|Tam Lin Stuart Dilley|
2.) The Goose Girl – The Brothers Grimm
A False Bride tale reminiscent of The Singing Bone and The Twa Sisters/Binnorie, only the protagonist isn’t murdered in this version. Poor old Falada the talking horse cops it, though.
|The Goose Girl Stanley Royle, 1921|
3.) Blue Beard – Charles Perrault
Angela Carter’s version of this classic Pandora’s Box story – The Bloody Chamber – is one of my favourite versions. I read the original story I read when I was about 8 years old and thought that if I had seen it as a movie I would probably have nightmares. I’ve linked the title to the movie Bluebeard (2009) by French director Catherine Breillat – which is now on my Quickflix list!
|Bluebeard Gustave Doré|
4.) The Lorelei– German Ballad
Probably technically more a myth or ballad than fairytale, but I’ve had to include this. It was a favourite of my German grandmother who knew the area and she, like I do, enjoyed the melding of a real place with its folklore. Of course this (and the migration of my Grandmother from Germany to Australia – in itself a fairytale!) was the basis for my play, Salzwasser.
|Lorelei Andrea Offerman|
5.) The Little Mermaid
Even as a teenager, the Disney version made me squirm when she got her prince. I wonder how many kids these days have had the chance to read the unsullied Hans Christian Andersen version and been disappointed that she (spoiler alert) dies in the end and turns to foam.
|Dissolving into Foam Edmund Dulac|
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