Monday, March 2, 2015

THE TURNIP PRINCESS review w/ giveaway

Remember those lost fairy tales that recently came to light?  THE TURNIP PRINCESS is the first English translation of those rediscovered stories. Heads up, they aren't what's typically thought of as a fairy tale......

Thanks to Andrea the Book Nook has a print copy of THE TURNIP PRINCESS to give away to one (1) lucky commenter. Sorry, U.S. only.
What's your favorite fairy tale & why? Good luck y'all!

With THE TURNIP PRINCESS, the holy trinity of fairy tales—the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen—becomes a quartet. In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavariato record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth’s work was lost—until a few years ago, when Erika Eichenseer uncovered thirty boxes of manuscripts in a German municipal archive.
Now, for the first time, Schönwerth’s lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, they bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.

FRANZ XAVER VON SCHÖNWERTH (1810-1886) was born in Amberg, Bavaria. He had a successful career in law and the Bavarian royal court, rising to the post of personal secretary to the Crown Prince Maximilian. In the 1850s he began to explore the culture of the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria, recording his observations and the stories of the people he interviewed. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to his research and, between 1857 and 1859, published From the Upper Palatinate: Customs and Legends, cataloging the customs and folktales of his homeland in unprecedented detail. This work contained only a fraction of his total research, the rest of which was eventually discovered in an archive, forming an important addition to the canon of classic fairy tales.

My thoughts.....3.5 stars

Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth was a contemporary of the Brothers Grimm and they spoke highly of his efforts to save the folk stories of the Bavarian people. In 2010 a large lost collection was discovered. This is the first English translation of those long misplaced tales.

THE TURNIP PRINCESS and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales are nothing like the stories of The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, or Hans Christian Anderson. These are the authentic stories just as they were told to Van Schonwerth. Unlike the aforementioned chroniclers there’s been no polishing, fleshing out, or gentling of these tales.  
Readers can imagine themselves sitting round a fire or hearth with stories being told by everyone, from the youngest to the oldest. Some are disjointed, leaping in time and place with little or no logic, as a child might relate. Others are more cohesive and longer but not by much, the longest being only a few pages. These short tales were written and translated directly from the oral tellings. Princes, princesses, enchanted animals, dwarfs, giants, witches, and other requisite fairy tale creatures are all accounted for. These tales lack the polish and panache today’s popular fairy tales possess, but readers will have no problem recognizing many modern fairly tales in their most rudimentary forms in THE TURNIP PRINCESS and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales. I won’t name any names; it’s more fun to figure them out for on your own.
For readers who have always wondered what fairytales were like before being adapted or sanitized this is the book you’ve been waiting for.


About the Editors:
ERIKA EICHENSEER discovered 500 previously unknown fairy tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the municipal archive of Regensburg, Bavaria, in 2009. In 2010 she published a selection entitled Prinz Rosszwifl [Prince Dung Beetle]. She began her career as a teacher, then worked in the theater for the cultural department of the regional government of East Bavaria. An expert on fairy tales and on puppet theater, she has written numerous books on folk art and customs and has appeared on television, produced radio programs, and performed all over Bavaria as a storyteller. She is co-founder and director of the Schönwerth Society and initiator of the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, near Regensburg, and she wrote the libretto for a musical based on Schönwerth’s “The Flying Chest.” She has been awarded many honors for her services to Bavarian culture.   

MARIA TATAR chairs the program in folklore and mythology at Harvard. She is the author of many acclaimed books on folklore and fairytales, as well as the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition, and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About the illustrator:
ENGELBERT SÜSS is a sculptor, glass-artist, and illustrator who was born in 1949 in eastern Bavaria. He created the bronze statue “King of Dwarfs” for the Schönwerth Fairytale Path in Sinzing, Bavaria.

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