Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin is a classic fairy tale by Brothers Grimm. We present is with numerous black and white and color illustrations by George Roland Halkett (1855-1918). The summary of the story is accompanied with a full scan of all pages in the same order as they were published in the picture book.

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Once upon a time, there was a miller. He was very proud of his daughter and on one occasion, when a king stopped by his mill, he bragged she is so clever she can spin straw into gold.

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The king challenged both. The girl should come to his castle and change full chamber of straw into gold. Otherwise, he would order her to be killed.

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When miller’s daughter stayed alone, locked with all the straw, she started crying. She would surely die in the morning. But then a strange little man appeared and offered his help if she gives him something in exchange. She gave him her neckless and he transformed the straw in gold.

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King was delighted. Then he wanted more. The next night the girl was locked with even larger quantities of straw. She should change that too. But the strange little man came again and in exchange for her ring he spun the straw into gold again.

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The king was still not satisfied. He ordered the girl to spin one load of straw by the next morning. If she succeeds, she’ll become his wife and queen. If not, she will die.

The little man came for the third time as well. But miller’s daughter didn’t have anything more to offer in exchange. So the man proposed she should give him her son when she marries the king. Believing she will die in any other scenario and thinking she would probably never become a queen giving birth to a prince, she accepted his proposition.

Another chamber was full of gold in the morning and the king kept his word. Miller’s daughter became a queen and after about a year gave birth to a little boy. She completely forgot about the little man. He didn’t. One evening he appeared in front of her and demanded his payment – the little prince.

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The queen started crying and begging and offering all valuable things from the castle but the little man persisted. After a while he decided to give her a chance – if she guesses his name in next three days, he will withdraw his request.

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All servants from the castle helped the queen gathering all kinds of strange names from the surrounding. The first evening she spent all ordinary names, but the little man just laughed at her attempts.

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Next evening she tried more and more exotic names. Still without success.

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She was desperate. Yet, just before the little man should appear for the final time and took the prince, one of the servants who traveled very far, returned to the castle. He told the queen he noticed a strange little man dancing and singing by the fire basically telling he’ll get the little prince because nobody knows his name is Rumpelstiltskin.

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The queen was overjoyed. When the little man came, she tried a couple other names at first and then shot “Rumpelstiltskin!” and the strange little fellow had to accept his defeat.

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That’s all. This picture book was published in 1882 by Thos. de la Rue & Co. in London. Text and images are in Public Domain.

 

Hansel and Gretel, and Other Fairy Tales

Illustrations by Jesus Sanchez Tena

Today we are dealing with a vintage Spanish edition of the book with three fairy tales by Brothers Grimm. They are retold and illustrated by Jesus Sanchez Tena (1898-1931) and published by Barcelona Juventud in 1930.

It’s almost impossible to find any useful information about the illustrator who was very likely self-thought. He was born in Aragon on January 8, married at 26 to Concepcion Navarrete, who was also an artist. Together they created numerous stickers and advertising material, which was often accompanied with humorous short text made by Sanchez Tena.

He was fluent in French and English but due to his weak health limited to stay close to his hometown. Apart from illustrating a book for Peter B. Kine, he illustrated only books for children, among which were Peter Pan and works by H. C. Andersen and Brothers Grimm. In his work we can feel influence of the best English illustrators of his time.

He died on July 27 of tuberculosis. It’s hard to estimate his legacy which is poorly cataloged, but we know he created several original characters for themed picture books. In 1920s, 1930s and 1940s there were at least ten of his original books published (several posthumously) in Barcelona and Madrid. Next set of illustrations is a good example of his artistic talent and draftsman skills.

Hansel and Gretel

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This fairy tale is about kids being lost in the wood, betrayal of their parents and danger which they have to confront if they want to survive. A detailed analysis of the story can be found here:

https://letterpile.com/books/hansel_and_gretel

We’ll focus on illustrations only.

Apart from the color picture above used for the cover of the book Sanchez Tena used pen and ink line drawings to portray the most important scenes from all the stories.

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If you want to see more pictures from the story about Hansel and Gretel, visit next address:

https://topillustrations.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/hansel-and-gretel-pictures-from-the-story/

We continue with the next fairy tale.

Snow-White and Rose-Red

It’s a story about sisters who are dealing with ungrateful dwarf and a very friendly bear. Of course, there is some magic involved.

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The Rumpelstiltskin

This is another story about a parent who put his own kid into trouble. The miller lies to the king about skills of his daughter and the king demands an impossible task from her. Things improve with the coming of a strange dwarf-like man, just to become even more complicated.

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That’s about all. Jesus Sanchez Tena and his take on three popular fairy tales by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goose Girl and Other Fairy Tales

Goose Girl and Other Tales illustrated by Franz Mueller-Muenster

Today we are dealing with a book published around 1910 and illustrated by Franz Muller-Munster, German painter who loved historical paintings and scenes from nature. He worked on fairy tales by brothers Grimm on several occasions and we happened to find a list of the fairy tales in this particular book together with many great illustrations but can’t guarantee they are all there.

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So let’s see the list first:

1. Goose Girl

2. Wolf and Seven Kids

3. The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear

4. The Singing Bone

5. How Six Men Got On in the World

6. The wren and the bear

7. Frederick and Catherine

8. Rapunzel

9. Jorinde and Joringel

As we already noticed at other collections of Grimm fairy tales, some of today’s most popular stories are not present, while we find several tales which are today almost forgotten.

This is actually very good because it widens our horizons and each post gives us a precious opportunity to learn something new. Shall we start with the fairy tales?

The Goose Girl

This is not among the most popular fairy tales, probably at least partly thanks to several cruel moments, not any more considered as suitable for the children in 21st century (we can open a debate about this). It talks about the princess who is forced to switch identities with her servant and can’t tell the truth about her real origin because she believed her word is still her bond. We won’t go into gory details, but you’ll notice a few disturbing elements in the illustrations below without additional help.

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Wolf and Seven Kids

The story about the wolf who eats little kids, but one survives and (with a help of his mother) defeats the monster, is one of the most well-known ones. It is not only resembling even more famous fairy tale about Little Red Hood, but is very close to the myth about the Zeus and his father Chronus, who ate his own children right after their birth until his wife (the mother of the children) decided to trick him with a large stone and saved the youngest kid, who later beats his father and rescues his brothers and sisters just like the little kid in the fairy tale.

Here is an article where the similarities between the Wolf and Seven Kids and myth about Zeus and Chronus are examined in detail:

https://hubpages.com/education/wolf-and-seven-kids

And here are illustrations by Franz Muller-Munster:

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The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear

Another almost forgotten fairy tale is talking about a boy who wants to know what is fear. He faces many different challenges but needs to experience something completely different to find out what is this emotion really about.

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Next three stories don’t have illustrations. At least to our knowledge. If you happen to have better edition of the book, please contact us through the comment section and we’ll add them later. Fast forward to …

Frederick and Catherine

This is more a tale of amusement then tale of enchantment. It’s a humorous story about a series of events leading to huge losses of a husband and a wife (Frederick and Catherine). After another series of fortunate events / misunderstandings they got their wealth back.

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Rapunzel

This is definitely the most famous story in this collection today. By far! But it wasn’t so well-known a hundred or so years ago. Well, thanks to movie adaptations and huge business of merchandise related to the girl with really long hair, everybody knows who is Rapunzel today.

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Jorinde and Joringel

Another less know fairy tale. It’s slightly similar to Hansel and Gretel, but also has elements of another fairy tales, like Golden Bird, for instance. Short summary: Jorinde and Joringel are lovers who wonder through the wood and come too close to an evil witch, who liked to turn men into rocks and girls into birds. She petrified Joringel at first too, but decided to free him because she thought it would be fun to see him suffering knowing about his love being changed into a nightingale in being caged. But Joringel found a magic flower which helped him to destroy evil spells and rescue not only his girlfriend but other girls under witch’s power.

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That’s all folks!