August 15, 2008

The Original Fairy Tale Writers

Listed below are mini biographies of three original fairy tale writers/collectors. I’ve had the links to The Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson on my sidebar since I started this blog, and I have referred to them many times. Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy’s tales are fairly new to me. I plan to explore her work and use one of her tales for inspiration for next month’s supernatural short story.

Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy -'Aulnoy

French Writer Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy (1650/1651-1705) not only wrote fairy tales, she gave them their name. She was the first person to use the phrase “fairy tales” when she named her collection of short stories, les contes de f’ee (Tales of Fairies). Her life story is quite interesting as well. When she was 16 years old, she married a man 30 years her senior. It is rumored that she, with the help of her mother, accused him of treason. I found this great article about her written by Terri Windling. And you can read d’Aulnoy’s fairy tales in at Surlalune Fairy Tales.

The Grimm Brothers

Jacob Grimm 1785-1863
Wilhelm Grimm 1786-1859

The German born Grimm Brothers began to collect folktales in 1806 and then published their first book containing 86 tales, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children' and Household Tales) in 1812. They went on to publish over 200 stories in 6 more editions. Besides their collective work, they also had individual nonfiction titles. A really great website with all kinds of information about them, including some of their fairy tales in their orginal form can be found at the informative Grimm Brothers website compiled by Professor D. L. Ashliman .

Hans Christian Andersen

Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen’s (1805-1875) first collection, The Improvisatore; Fairy Tales, Told for Children, was published in 1835. He wrote and published 23 more collections between 1835 and 1872, which totaled 168 fairy tales. You can follow this link to the complete list of Anderson’s 168 tales, most with working story links.

Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy's picture courtesy of
For some reason, Blogger did not like the link to Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy page on Wikepedia. You will need to cut and paste the entire link.


Vic DiGital said...

Cool. I'd heard of Anderson and the Grimm Brothers, but I'd never heard about d'Aulnoy. Just perusing the title of her stories, none of them jump out at me as anything I've heard of before. Might I know them by a different name, or maybe by their plot?

(also, the wikipedia link isn't working)

Dorlana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorlana said...

I don’t recall ever reading any of the exact stories from the ones I’ve read so far. However, they do have a lot of similarities to the Grimms’ and Anderson’s tales. They have the usual fairy godmothers, towers, princesses. And other familiarities, like in the story “The Princess Carpillon” jealous Prince Hunchback tells a man to leave his baby brother in the woods so the wild animals will eat him.

And yes, that link gave me fits. I tried to post it like 50 million times, but it just didn’t want to stay. I don’t think it like the apostrophe in the link. IDK.

Stella said...

Hey, Dorlana! I hope you're in the mood for a short meme...


You can find your istructions here:

The agency won't disavow knowledge of your actions should you be caught. That would be silly.

Dorlana said...

Thanks for the meme challenge! I'll try to have my list ready by the 1st.