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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.
- “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 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.
All the latest fairy tale and folklore translations….
(A found a book about Death legends in Brittany, and I couldn’t resist. Then I encountered a chapter all about a sunken city I had never heard of…and I just had to explore it. Come with me on this trip to the sunken City of Is.) One night, some sailors from Douarnenez were moored inContinue reading “A Sunken City of Ys”
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. When the wicked queen of the fairies hears of Fairer’s reputation, the wicked queen swears to avenge her fairies’ pride. She captures the princess and condemns herContinue reading “Fairer released!”
Strangely enough, I’ve encountered many Alsatian folktales about scarab beetles. I say strange, because when I think of scarab beetles I immediately picture Ancient Egypt, but here we are instead in the liminal forests between France and Germany, encountering many forms of wondrous scarabs1. This particular folktale is pulled from the collection Révue des traditionsContinue reading ““The Wondrous Scarab,” an Alsatian folktale”
I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. For a long time the Strasbourg Cathedral clock remained unfinished. The master who had invented it had died without finding anyone capable of finishing his work. At last a foreign master craftsman who promised he could finishContinue reading ““The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral””
(Originally posted February 2018) I translated this particular version of the tale from Récits historiques et légendaires d’Alsace, collected by Robert Wolf. 1922. Not far from Cernay lies a great, desolate plain called the Ochsenfeld1 cattlefield. There, come evening, a faint clatter of weapons can often be heard. It is here that the armies of the infamous sons ofContinue reading ““The Enchanted Armies of Ochsenfeld,” an Alsatian folktale”
‘Twas the Wednesday before Christmas…. (Originally posted to Patreon as a Christmas special for my patrons, 2018) From Illzach: The Beast of the Wednesday Before Christmas (oral tradition, recorded in the Revue des traditions populaires, 1901) This phantom animal is the size of a year-old calf; its eyes glow like lightning and are as bigContinue reading ““Tales of Christmas Horror from Illzach, France””
(Originally published in May 2016) Well, this post is going to be a bit different, since I’ll essentially be presenting and reviewing two out-of-print French books, but stick with me. Two Christmases ago I received several collections of Alsatian/Lorraine and Breton/Gallo folklore to feed my obsession. Among them were Alsatian-centric Dragons, fantômes, et trésors cachésContinue reading “Obscure French Folklore in Out-of-Print Collections (Review)”
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, access her folkloric fiction via her writing blog and bibliography, and interact with her on Twitter.
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