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French Fairy Tales and Folklore

Fairy Tales

Persinette_2_small    Fairer_smaller2

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

From Bretagne/Brittany:

From Lorraine:

From Alsace:

Folktales of Belgium

All the latest fairy tale and folklore translations….

Saint Odile, Bride of Alsace

(Illustration “Sainte-Odile” by François Baumann, 1857) (Originally posted on Patreon, February 2023). In complete contrast with the last post, this “redemption” story leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve put off translating this folktale for years for various reasons, but the emphasis on the father’s part of Odile’s story is one of them. Yet…

A different sort of “Snow White” – Alsatian folktale

(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…

The Dwarves of the Wolf Caves

(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…

French Folklore Collection (2014-2021)

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!

The Ankou of Brittany

(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…

The Dragons of Saint Ghislain, Belgium

(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…

Some Dragon-lore of Alsace

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…

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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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