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TheWonderfulBirch_F

Happy New Year!!!

Kicking off 2016 with a FAIRY TALE!

This is a painting inspired by the story of The Wonderful Birch by Andrew Lang (1844-1912). It was included in The Red Fairy Book, published in 1890. Also in that book: Rapunzel, The Golden Goose, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The Red Fairy Book was one of 12 books, known as Andrew Lang’s Books of Many Colors.

Lang repeatedly explained in the prefaces that the tales he told were all old, and not his, and that he found new fairy tales no match for them:

“But the three hundred and sixty-five authors who try to write new fairy tales are very tiresome. They always begin with a little boy or girl who goes out and meets the fairies of polyanthuses and gardenias and apple blossoms: “Flowers and fruits, and other winged things”. These fairies try to be funny, and fail; or they try to preach, and succeed. Real fairies never preach or talk slang. At the end, the little boy or girl wakes up and finds that he has been dreaming.

Such are the new fairy stories. May we be preserved from all the sort of them!”

 

Back to the Wonderful Birch…

The quick version is that this is a tale VERY similar to Cinderella. There’s a witch, a black sheep, a reindeer, a prince, an evil step-sister, magic shoes and a fairy-ish mother. I highly encourage you to read the entire story- it’s fascinating. I especially like the part where the step-sister is gnawing on bones under a table and then gets her arm broken, her leg broken, and her eye gouged out.

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/birch.html

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