Faerie Tale Friday

Faerie Tale Friday: Fun Facts About Faerie Tales

Happy Faerie Tale Friday my fellow make believers!

I wanted to chat with you all today about some fun facts about Faerie Tales to kind of give you all a break from reviews. I would love to see how many of these facts you all are aware of. How many are new to you? What is your favorite fact?

I will also be including a tentative schedule for the next few weeks, as I have another Faerie Tale retelling series I will be starting, along with a new kind of Faerie Tale mash up by Alicia Gaile, a different kind of retelling by Chauncey Rogers, and a evil step mother retelling from Danielle Teller. Excited?

I will also be coming up with some fun discussions about Faerie Tales. Let me know if there is anything you want to discuss. My first discussion will be on Faerie Tales versus Myths and Legends.

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Faerie Tale Facts:

  1. There have been over 700 versions of Cinderella in almost every language.
  2. Original versions of some of the faerie tales were quite gruesome. In the Grimm’s version of Snow White the evil queen wanted to eat her liver and lungs!
  3. Early versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears had three trusting male bears instead of the family of bears.
  4. The French version of Rapunzel ends with her being turned in to a frog while the prince is cursed with a pig’s snout!
  5. The goodies Little Red is bringing to grandma vary from grape juice and banana bread to wine and cake depending on the version of the tale.
  6. Around 850 AD is when the first version of Cinderella was recorded in China. She had gold slippers and a dress of kingfisher feathers.
  7. An early version of Goldilocks involved an old, foul-mouthed woman being impaled on a steeple at St. Paul’s Cathedral at the end.
  8. Little Red Hiding Hood was used in early centuries to warn children of wolves and other dangers in the woods.
  9. Older tales of Jack the Giant Killer did not involve the bean stalk since it was a medieval belief that giants roamed the earth.
  10. The title of Sleeping Beauty was originally in french (La Belle Au Bois Dormant) and meant The Beauty in the Sleeping Wood.
  11. Some versions of Cinderella involved a step sister cutting off her own toes to fit in the glass slipper.
  12. Charles Dickens claimed that faerie tales kept him young.
  13. Little Red Riding Hood sometimes featured an ogre or werewolf instead of a regular wolf.
  14. French writer Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy from the 17th century first coined the term fairy tale, or ‘conte de fée’.
  15. The phrase “Once upon a time” dates all the way back to Chaucer in the 14th century.
  16. Faerie Tales were written for both adults and children.
  17. Faerie tales are part of a larger genre considered Folklore, which includes myths and legends.
  18. Snow White’s mother was forced to dance until she dropped dead in red-hot iron shoes in the Brothers Grimm version.
  19. In 1264 the Pied Piper agreed to lead away an infestation of rats in the village for a large sum of money and enticed the village’s children away in revenge when the people refused to pay him.
  20. It is believed Hansel and Gretel was inspired by the great famine of 1315-1321 when parents often abandoned their children or resorted to cannibalism!
Do you know any faerie tale facts not listed here?

(Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5)

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Tentative Schedule:
Friday Faerie Tale Title Original Faerie Tale
February 23 Happily by Chauncey Rogers Cinderella
March 2 A Goose Girl (Entwined Tales #1) by K.M. Shea Goose Girl
 March 9 All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller Cinderella’s Stepmother
 March 16  An Unnatural Beanstalk (Entwined Tales #2) by Brittany Fichter Jack and the Beanstalk

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20 thoughts on “Faerie Tale Friday: Fun Facts About Faerie Tales

  1. ooh this is so fascinating! i knew some of them because i do love fairytales, but some i’d never heard! the hansel and gretel famine inspiration, for example 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I enjoyed looking these up. The Hansel and Gretel one is creepy and makes sense. It is also thought that it was based on a story about a baker being accused of a witch because her neighbor was jealous of her gingerbread recipe and they chased her down and burned her alive in her own oven.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. Some of them I did know but others I did not. I find the older versions much more interesting than the disney versions. What are some of your favorite editions of older fairy tales?

    Liked by 1 person

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