Inspiring Blogger Award: 7 Favourite Fairy Tales

Copy of WIN A TRIP (4)

I was recently tagged for the Inspiring Blogger Award and received a shout out from Adam over at Fairy Tale Fandom. Thank you for thinking of me, and here is my post in response!

The idea of this tag is to post 7 facts about yourself that other people may not know. Since I’ve done similar tags before, I’ve decided to list 7 of my favourite fairy tales instead!

1. The Little Mermaid (Andersen)
Whilst I love the Disney version, the original Hans Christian Andersen story has so much more beauty and substance. The whole dying in the name of love thing may be a tad over-dramatic, but it’s poignant to read nevertheless. 

2. The Wild Swans (Andersen)
Another Hans Christian Andersen tale. I first encountered this when I read The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott, a novel which I adored.

3. Petrosinella (Basile)
She’s just so much more gutsy than the protagonist in later versions of Rapunzel! Plus, the version of this story given in Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales, entitled ‘Parsley Girl’ is hilarious. It involves cannibalistic nuns and a talking frog.

Petrosinella’s hair is red instead of gold. Image from Il Sud Che Non Ti Aspetti.

4. Vasilisa the Fair (Afanasyev)
What can I say, I just love Baba Yaga stories. This one was collected in Russia by the folklorist Alexander Afanasyev in his collection of fairy tales published in the mid-1800s.

5. White Bear King Valemon (Asbjørnsen & Moe)
I saw a theatrical interpretation of this story a few years back called The Girl with the Iron Claws. I was so enthralled by it that afterwards I sought out the original story, and this is it. A princess falls in love with a prince, but he is under a curse to be a bear during the day. The only way for it to be broken is for someone to love him without seeing his face for three years. But the princess can’t help herself, so she lights a candle. To save her beloved prince, she must then make a perilous journey up the glass mountain and face the wrath of the troll-hag…

White Bear King Valemon
The white bear carries the princess away to his castle. Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon by Svein Solem, sourced from Tumblr.

6. Ricky of the Tuft (Perrault)
I love the message this story has, that beauty is only what you perceive it to be and when you love someone they are beautiful to you no matter what. I also want to know what happens to the stupid princess’s sister, who disappears from the story halfway through. Someday I’m going to write her ending!

7. Little Brother and Little Sister (Grimm)
My spirit animal is a deer, and this is the first fairy tale I encountered that features one. A brother and sister are out in the forest, and the brother drinks enchanted water which turns him into a deer. I like how this story incorporates both familial and romantic love, and think it’s an all-round cute little tale which is rather rare in the world of fairy tales!

Little sister cares for her brother when he is turned into a deer. Image from Gutenberg.

Who else is familiar with these tales? Does anyone love some of them as much as I do?

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Amelia Starling is a writer and folklorist. She graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Creative Writing, and is Senior Editor for Folklore Thursday. She loves travelling and collecting stories, and spent 15 months living in Japan doing this alongside teaching English. Amelia blogs about folklore and fairy tales at The Willow Web. You can follow her on Twitter @amyelize.

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