Saturday, July 21, 2018

Keep It Short #28

I read two stories in Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book: Prince Darling and Blue Beard. I can't imagine two stories being more different from one another!

Prince Darling

First sentence:
ONCE upon a time there lived a king who was so just and kind that his subjects called him “the Good King.” It happened one day, when he was out hunting, that a little white rabbit, which his dogs were chasing, sprang into his arms for shelter. The King stroked it gently, and said to it:
“Well, bunny, as you have come to me for protection I will see that nobody hurts you.”
And he took it home to his palace and had it put in a pretty little house, with all sorts of nice things to eat.

Premise/plot: The good King has a not-so-good son whose worth will have to be tested before he can have his happily ever after. The 'bunny' his father saved was the fairy TRUTH. And TRUTH will do her best to guide the new king--the prince--when the time comes for him to reign. But will he be guided by the truth and rule wisely? OR will he become a selfish, cruel king who needs to be taught a lesson or two?

My thoughts: I really liked this one. It's for stories like this one that I keep reading.

Blue Beard
First sentence:
There was a man who had fine houses, both in town and country, a deal of silver and gold plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilded all over with gold. But this man was so unlucky as to have a blue beard, which made him so frightfully ugly that all the women and girls ran away from him.
One of his neighbors, a lady of quality, had two daughters who were perfect beauties. He desired of her one of them in marriage, leaving to her choice which of the two she would bestow on him. They would neither of them have him, and sent him backward and forward from one another, not being able to bear the thoughts of marrying a man who had a blue beard, and what besides gave them disgust and aversion was his having already been married to several wives, and nobody ever knew what became of them.
Blue Beard, to engage their affection, took them, with the lady their mother and three or four ladies of their acquaintance, with other young people of the neighborhood, to one of his country seats, where they stayed a whole week.

Premise/plot: Blue Beard may be ugly but this is no Beauty and the Beast or East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

My thoughts: This may be one of the most disturbing stories I've read so far. I don't particularly like horror stories--and this is a horror story. Would this latest wife of Bluebeard gotten a happily ever after with Bluebeard if she hadn't been so curious and disobeyed her husband? I doubt it. Obviously Bluebeard is a dark, twisted, violent soul. It would have just been a matter of time, in my opinion. Having the knowledge even just for a short time of who her husband really was probably gave her just enough time to contact her brothers and gotten HELP to get out.


© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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