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French Fairy Tales and Folklore
Persinette. A hundred years before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. Before the Old Witch ever locked Rapunzel in a tower, a Fairy set out to change Persinette’s destiny.
Fairer. Once upon a time, there was a princess so beautiful that her people named her Fairer-than-the-Fairies. Of course, with a name like that, Fairer was destined for trouble.
Folktales of France
- “Faeries in Upper-Brittany, France.”
Translated from the article “Fées en Haute-Bretagne,” originally published in Le Magasin pittoresque in 1886.
- “A Sunken City of Ys.”
One day, it will rise again from the sea, but only if you’re worthy.
- The Ankou of Brittany.
Legends and tales of Death’s right-hand servant.
- “The Cursed Bridge of the Faeries Over the Vologne River (Vosges Mountains).”
A hunter forgets his fairy godmother’s advice and meets his match in an ondine.
- “The Nymph of Wangenbourg Castle.”
A maiden escapes her heartless husband through extraordinary means.
- “The White Lady with the Green Slippers.” (patreon-exclusive)
- “The Faerie’s Gift of Tears.”
A knight’s lady learns the price of her parents’ wish for a happy baby.
- “The Green Hunter.”
- “The White Lady of Kœpfle Hill.”
Beware the mysterious lady with keys who guards hidden treasure.
- “The White Lady of Hohenstein.”
If you didn’t beware the other mysterious white lady with keys, then at least keep your promise to this one.
- “The Silver Rose.”
In which the King of the Silver Dwarves falls in love with a damsel and offers her the key to the Gate between their worlds. As one does.
- “The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld.”
Here lie the sleeping armies of the traitorous sons of Louis the Debonaire, waiting for the end of their enchantment.
- “The Legend of the Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral,”
the wondrous making and gruesome unmaking.
- “Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France.”
‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas….
- “The Wondrous Scarab.”
Just your average scarab tale: a traveling knight encounters a wondrous scarab beetle.
- “The Women of Rouffach.”
A mother whose daughter is kidnapped starts an uprising.
- “The Bride of the Dead.”
A young man dies and lures his lover into an early grave.
- Some Dragon-lore of Alsace.
Discover the fire dragons of Alsace! They’re not what you think.
- “The Dwarves of the Wolf Caves.”
Don’t spy on faeries of any kind. Just don’t do it.
- “The Count Hugo of Eguisheim.”
A different sort of Snow White tale.
Folktales of Belgium
- The Dragons of Saint Ghislain.
Two anecdotes of dragon encounters taken from the town history published in 1737.
All the latest fairy tale and folklore translations….
(A twist on Snow White. From Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, compiled by Robert Wolf, 1922. Translation originally posted on Patreon in December 2022.) On a mountain near the village of Eguisheim, not far from Colmar, stood three old castles of which nothing remains today except three tours, the three Exes. Seven years ago, the…
(From Récits historiques et légendaires de l’Alsace, Robert Wolff, 1922. Originally posted on Patreon in September 2022). Not far from Férette, one can see some tall and wide boulders that hide an extensive cave system. Once, several centuries ago, a dwarvish people lived there. They were small and graceful, but they wore long robes that…
In December of last year, I collected together all of the folklore I’d translated to-date, something I’d been planning on doing since I started. I also couldn’t resist adding in two more new folktales to help round out the collection. I posted the collected e-book publicly on Patreon. Enjoy!
(Originally posted on Patreon and Twitter, September through October, 2021). The following is a translation of the article “L’Ankou, l’ouvrier de la mort” serialized on Twitter: “In Brittany, Death is personified by a fearsome being called the Ankou. The Ankou isn’t exactly ‘Death itself’ but a servant of Death (oberour ar marv) that labors for…
(Selections translated from L’Histoire de la ville de Saint Ghislain (1737). Originally posted on Patreon in April 2021). [Title page]. History of the Town of Saint Ghislain. Containing everything of utmost interest that happened since its beginning. The list of Abbots & their principle deeds, with an ample description of its Sieges, its Ruins, its…
The following paragraphs are translated from Revue d’Alsace, 1851. They were originally published on Patreon in March 2021. The serpents that can be seen, sometimes, at night on the banks of the river Mossig in the Kronthal valley, and shine with a phosphorescent glow, are also specters from hell. The devil also appears in the…
(Originally posted on Patreon in October 2020). “La fiancée du mort,” collected by Anatole Le Braz in La légende de la mort chez les Bretons Amoricains, 1902. In Bégard, the title of “handsomest peasant’s son that ever lived” fell to René Pennek, son of Ervoann, and the “prettiest girl in ten leagues around” was Dunvel…
About little translator
Laura Christensen enjoys translating French folklore and weaving all the pieces together into a rich, immersive world. You can support her endeavors on Patreon or Ko-Fi and interact with her on Twitter.
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