The Bloody Chamber

A short collection of short stories from the pre-eminent name in the feminist fairy tale field, including three different versions of Red Riding Hood, notably The Company of Wolves which inspired a critically acclaimed film of the same name.  Carter co-wrote the screenplay, including a draft which differs from the finished version and is included in her later collection, The Curious Room.

indexed under: Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, multiple tales, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood
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The Philosophy of Rumpelstiltskin

A short overview of traditional Rumpelstiltskin-esque tales from various cultures and folkloric origins, which was first presented as a lecture before the Folklore Society in 1889.  The thesis is based around the power of the Rumpelstiltskin character’s name, and how the story probably evolved from a superstitious reluctance to voice either one’s own name or that of specific others for fear of what might happen as a result.  Briefly interesting, the ‘lecture’ is something of a one-trick pony which does not consider the Rumpelstiltskin tale from any alternative angles, and simultaneously fails to provide conclusive evidence for its base theory.

indexed under: Rumpelstiltskin
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Briar Rose

indexed under: Sleeping Beauty
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Interweaving the story of the Pied Piper with that of the 13th century Children’s Crusade.

indexed under: Pied Piper
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In a Dark Wood

Benedick is a man on the edge. As a character, he is unlikeable and difficult to warm to; but as Benedick reads through the book of fairy tales that he has discovered (written and illustrated by his late mother) the reader of his story is swept along as he works through the excessive highs and lows of his emotional turmoil.  Somehow, this tale of depression is not a depressing read.  Craig tells her tale in lucid, understated prose, and successfully harnesses the psychological power of fairy tales to great effect.

indexed under: East of the Sun and West of the Moon, multiple tales
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