As a follow up to my Tangled post, I pulled out my two-volume set of fairy tales, A Treasury of the World’s Greatest Fairy Tales and A Second Treasury of the World’s Greatest Fairy Tales. The books were a gift from one of my aunts from before I could read.
These books, put out by the Danbury Press, have got to be the best illustrated collection of fairy tales. I remember them so vividly from my childhood. Of course, I read them over and over so many times. I loved these stories growing up.
Some are familiar tales like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss-in-Boots, and Rapunzel. But there are so many others. I must particularly point out Snow White and Rose Red and The Three Dwarves in the Woods as among my favorites, though they are likely lesser known then the others I mentioned. In all, there are 28 fairy tales told in these two beautifully illustrated books.
Here (at right) you can see a glimpse of Rapunzel’s tale. On the left page is the witch cutting Rapunzel’s hair, and on the right, the Prince climbs the hair and discovers the witch. Click the image to enlarge.
They say that who we are is shaped or determined by two factors: genetics and our environment. Greek Myths and fairy tales such as these were most certainly part of of the environment that shaped me. Reading these tales that have resonated with so many of us for centuries has inspired my writing as well as who I am. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about them. Perhaps, with the new year, I’ll revisit these tales and see what new stories they may inspire me to write.