"Deep in rococo imagery of fairies, princesses, diamonds and pearls"
May 4, 2020 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Terri Windling (03/2020), "Once upon a time in Paris...": "As the vogue for fairy stories evolved in the 1670s and '80s, Madame d'Aulnoy emerged as one of the most popular raconteurs in Paris ... she soon formed a glittering group around her of nonconformist women and men, as well as establishing a highly successful and profitable literary career ... So how, we might ask, did Perrault become known as the only French fairy tale author of note?" Elizabeth Winter (12/2016), "Feminist Fairies and Hidden Agendas": "the term contes de fées ... was coined by ... d'Aulnoy in 1697, when she published her first collection of tales." Volker Schröder (2018-2019): this collection "is often described as 'lost' or 'untraceable'" and its "sequel has become just as scarce"; but d'Aulnoy's tales are available online, and mixed reviews such as those of the Brothers Grimm may call to mind her childhood marginalia: "if you have my book and ... don't appreciate what's inside, I wish you ringworm, scabies ... and a broken neck."

A couple of articles that are free to read online break down specifics of d'Aulnoy's stories. In "A Transformed Woman," part of her occasional column On Fairy Tales at Tor.com, Mari Ness discusses Madame d'Aulnoy's "The White Cat," a story that has also been recommended previously on Metafilter. And in "Early Modern French Feminine Narratives: Subverting Gender Roles and Sexual Identity in Mme d'Aulnoy's Beauty or the Fortunate Knight (1698)," [PDF] Harold Neeman discusses the story also known as "Belle-Belle" (likewise recommended previously on Metafilter).

More general thematic analyses of work by d'Aulnoy and her peers include Bronwyn Reddan's "Scripting Love in Fairy Tales by Seventeenth-century French Women Writers" [PDF] and "Thinking Through Things: Magical Objects, Power, and Agency in French Fairy Tales" [PDF] (the latter available temporarily from Project MUSE) and also Meghan Kort's "Imagining Girlhood in Seventeenth-Century Female-Authored Fairytales."

Works by several other authors writing in French from the 17th C. to the 19th C. illuminate d'Aulnoy's connections and her legacy (often via the collection Four and Twenty Fairy Tales, which is also at Gutenberg): Previously and previouslier.
posted by Wobbuffet (3 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Terri Windling (03/2020), "Once upon a time in Paris...": "As the vogue for fairy stories evolved in the 1670s and '80s, Madame d'Aulnoy emerged as one of the most popular raconteurs in Paris ... "

*wait a minute, am I reading a Wobbuffet post?*
*checks the poster's username, yep!*
posted by Balna Watya at 3:22 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


Nice, thanks.
posted by evilDoug at 6:36 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Can't wait to dig into these!
posted by travertina at 7:43 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


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