Have you ever wondered about the popular fairy tales available in Britain during the Regency? Today I am delighted to welcome Ally Broadfield to the blog with a terrific post that will shed light on that very subject! Pay attention, dear Reader, as M. Perrault will come up again in Book 3 of The Southwark Saga!
Please give Ally a warm welcome and be sure to add her new release, Say You'll Love Me, to your TBR list! Take it away, Ally!
Stories Within A Story
Soon after I began writing this book, Abigail made it known that she needed some sort of escape from her dire situation, and revealed that her chosen method of escape was reading fairy tales. Of course, I thought it would be easy. Throw in Snow White and Cinderella and we’d be all set. Except, once I did a bit of research, I discovered that many of the fairy tales we know and love now either weren’t around during the Regency period, or were very different than the stories we’ve become accustomed to.
I immediately thought of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but though their first book was published on December 20, 1812, which is well within the Regency period, it didn’t work for the story for several reasons. First, it was published only in German and wasn’t translated to English or published in Great Britain until 1823. Also, the book, titled Children’s and Household Tales, contained stories that were very different from the tales we know and love today. The stories were written for an adult audience to promote German nationalism and were, in some cases, quite brutal. They certainly wouldn’t qualify as an escape for my heroine, even if she had been able read them.
Next, I stumbled upon a lovely site called SurLaLune Fairy Tales, which included a timeline of fairy tales through history. Many of the fairy tales popular today were first written or recorded in France during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. I belatedly remembered one of my own books, a reprinting of some of Charles Perrault’s stories published in his book, Mother Goose Tales, which had first been translated into English in 1729. Prior to Perrault’s book, fairy tales had been written largely as cautionary tales for adults, but Perrault was a widower who recorded the fairy tales he told his own children. Perrault is credited with introducing the Fairy Godmother character to the tale of Cinderella, and his is the version Lady Abigail reads in Say You’ll Love Me.
SurLaLune also introduced me to Madame D’Aulnoy, who wrote four volumes of fairy tales which were translated into English in 1699 and included the story of Princess Mayblossom, which played an important role in Say You’ll Love Me since it mirrored some of the conflict Lady Abigail faced. This is a brief excerpt featuring the story:
She pulled Madame D’Aulnoy’s book of fairy tales from her bookshelf and settled on the bed. Baxter jumped up and lay next to her, placing his head in her lap. She fondled his ears and tried to absorb herself in the story of Princess Mayblossom, but it was no use. She leaned back and closed her eyes. Mayblossom had at first fallen for the wrong man before she found her true prince. Abigail feared she had done the same, but there would be no other prince coming to rescue her from her fate.
The Publication of Grimm’s Fairytales: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/publication-grimm%E2%80%99s-fairy-tales
SurLaLune Fairy Tales: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/
Perrault, Charles. Perrault’s Fairy Tales. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1969.
Countess of D’Aulnoy. The Fairy Tales of Madame D’Aulnoy. Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2003.
Say You'll Love Me
By Ally Broadfield
She may be his favorite mystery...
All of Lady Abigail Hurst's dreams seem to be coming true when at long last her childhood sweetheart asks for her hand. But when a maid is found dead, and her betrothed is the chief suspect, Abigail begins to wonder just what manner of man she's marrying...
The Marquess of Longcroft, Edmund Townsend, has always preferred complex mathematical equations to the trappings of society. And love? Love is a non-quantifiable concept. Still, Lady Abigail is his sister's friend, and he finds himself drawn into the mystery of her affianced... even as he begins to anticipate Lady Abigail's company with unfathomable pleasure.
Investigating the murder may reveal more than the sordid truth. It may just reveal the love Abigail always wanted... a little too late.
Ally Broadfield lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with her husband, three kids, four rescue dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. She likes to curse in Russian because few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia, and middle grade and young adult literature as Ally Mathews. To keep up with her new releases and giveaways, join her newsletter.
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