Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Perrault's Fairy Tales

Eight tales by the grand master Perrault illustrated by the equally grand Gustave Dore.

translated by A.E. Johnson 1969
illustrated by Gustave Dore

These are the original dark and gruesome stories with serious morals and might come as bit of a shock to those who only know the Disney versions.  (The ogre in "Little Tom Thumb" slits his seven daughters' throats for goodness sake!).  I confess, even from childhood "Blue Beard" has always been one of my favorites.  (I won't even try to analyze why!)

The Moral of Sleeping Beauty:

Many a girl has waited long
For a husband brave or strong;
But I'm sure I never met
Any sort of woman yet
Who could wait a hundred years,
Free from fretting, free from fears.

Now, our story seems to show
That a century or so,
Late or early, matters not;
True love comes by fairy-lot.
Some old folk will even say
It grows better by delay.

Yet this good advice, I fear,
Helps us neither there nor here.
Though philosophers may prate
How much wiser 'tis to wait,
Maids will be a-sighing still-
Young blood must when young blood will!

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