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The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales
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The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  964 ratings  ·  174 reviews
A rare discovery in the world of fairy tales - now for the first time in English.

With this volume, 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 Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration
Paperback, 264 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 2015)
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After having read online about the I think in 2012 or so (re)discovery of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's massive trove of meticulously collected (but unlike his contemporaries the Brothers Grimm never extensively edited and adjusted, sanitised) collection of Upper Bavarian (Upper Palatinate) folk and fairy tales (and because the German equivalent, the German original publication of the collection or rather of part of the collection, Prinz Rosszwifl, was actually missing in action under my piles of ...more

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. (However, I pre-ordered a kindle edition of the book prior to ARC approval).

I had heard of Von Schonwerth before the discovery of his trove by Erika Eichenseer, so I was looking forward to this book. The blurb likens von Schonwerth to Perrault, the Grimms, and Andersen – making the “trio” a quartet (we can discuss the leaving out of the women salon writers ourselves). This isn’t quite the case.

This isn’t because the stories aren’t grand; they are. But considering
Cinzia DuBois
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ok, I know, I get it. Fairytales are simplistic. Very few authors write prosaic fairytales, particularly in medieval times. Franz was more of a historian collecting fairytales in their most primitive form (almost bullet-pointing the details rather than writing a story in full.)

However, these were so basic that, initially, it was funny. I was laughing out loud at how ridiculously the stories progressed, and my FAVOURITE scene of all was when a character called Hans mills off the buttocks of a man
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore, fairy-tale
Turnip princesses, louse-headed heroes, and dung-beetle princes...not quite your traditional fairy-tale fare.

Once upon a time, a collection of five hundred fairy tales were quietly locked away in an obscure archive. And there they languished, forlorn and forgotten, for over a century and a half, until one day, a brave historian ventured deep into the dusty depths of the Regensburg archives and brought them into the light of day.

Although the Grimms themselves praised his skills, Von Schonwerth’s
Aug 08, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fairy-tale
Waiting patiently for an English translation!
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2015
Many, perhaps most, of these tales will be familiar to anyone who has read the Grimm brothers' original tales, in all their dark and often gory glory. You will find no sanitized Disney versions here. Instead, these tales are often strange and incoherent, full of dubious morality and ambiguous causality. Many of them sound like the kinds of stories told by young children, with characters and events materializing out of nowhere for no good reason but that they spontaneously occurred to the storyte ...more

People: Guys/ Women, this is my personal opinion.
It's a really weak review _ yes, I am aware of that _ but I honestly don't feel as if it deserves more from me.
It's not like people pay me to be bored out of my senses...

Yes, I am aware that the dispassionate writing style was intended as such: Like you guys, I also read the book's presentation..

Despite that, this is my review space. My review. My words.
This means that self righteous comments will be deleted and the people who make them will
DeAnna Knippling
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A bawdy, expectation-overturning collection of German fairy tales.

The brothers Grimm, it turns out, took out a *lot* of things from their fairy tales. The Schonwerth-collected tales feature:

--Extramarital sex.
--Gender-reversing tales.
--Tales about adult situation, that is, themes that kids and teen wouldn't care about, like quality of life in old age and how to die happy.

I liked it a lot and recommend it for general readers.
As it says in the cover description, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth was a contemporary of the Grimm brothers, however his manuscripts disappeared until they were recently discovered in the Regensburg municipal archive. Although they contain all the typical fairytale motifs: getting lost in woods, evil stepmothers, the youngest third son, the enchanted prince ( or princess or king or queen), the little man in the woods, the old crone who asks for alms, 3 quests, 3 wishes, a forbidden room and and and ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Like so many other readers, fairy tales were a huge part of my childhood. They were my cautionary tales, my morality plays, and my protection against the evil that lurked under the bed. As much as I enjoyed the sanitized versions in the Disney movies, it was the older tales in which there was no huntsman to save Little Red and Bluebeard had ways to deal with curious wives that I most loved. Even as I grew out of childhood, I never completely outgrew the magic of fairytales. So when a few years a ...more
Alicia Anderson
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful exploration of rough, unrefined oral tradition. anyone interested in symbol, archetype or myth (or just fairy tales!) would enjoy them.
Nov 12, 2019 added it
Gosh, they're like crazy recipes. I mean, most of the bits that we see here are familiar from other stories, but in these very brief stories it's like the old grannies and nannies just plucked assorted ingredients from Grimm and tradition, and tossed the bits in new combinations, often not bothering with coherence or sequence. Sometimes 1 evil stepfather + a youngest daughter + a loathly bride + 3 wishes works, sometimes it doesn't....

Mostly I was pretty bored. The stories are only a titch longe
Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive)
Read all my reviews on

And Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

In 2012, a bunch of long lost fairy tales were discovered. Now, we can read them for the first time in an English translation. What I really liked about the fairy tales is that they were written down as the local stories of the region. And while some of them do seem very similar to more well known fairy tales, it just goes to show how stories start to diverge in different regions.

I'm not at all tha
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Newly discovered fairy tales? Yes please. These did not disappoint. Many have elements of more familiar tales, but they are definitely something new. I'm so glad these tales are finally seeing the light! I enjoyed reading them a handful at a time before bed each night. ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Thank you to Penguin Group for providing me with an egallery copy of the book to review.

I loved the Grimm fairytales since I was a kid. Safe to say I even grew up on them. Fairytales have always held a special spot in my life when it comes to reading and even now that I’m a teenager I still can safely say I’ll never get too old for fairytales. The Germans are, safe to say, well known for their dark tales. Coming across “The Turnip Princess” created an instant spark of interest – new fairy tales
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
A long, long time ago, there lived a princess, and a prince, and a talking frog, and a daring dung beetle, and a couple homely honey bees - spring time assassins of the Oak King. Okay, I may have lost the plot there. I'm just going to go ahead and yank back on that thread I threw out there (read: spoil everything) and confirm that there are no assassin honey bees in this book.

My point is this: a long, long time ago cultures were built upon the tips of tongues. A rich oral tradition was just as
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, arc
In 2012, a fortunate researcher discovered hidden manuscripts which had been locked away for over 150 years, including 500 unread fairytales by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, a historian from Germany, which are believed to be written around a similar time to the Grimm’s Brothers stories.

Penguin have put together a collection of these untold myths and legends, beautifully translated and edited by Maria Tatar and Erika Einchenseer into English, which are full of majestic beasts, scornful witches, st
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ok, so I found this to be a great anthology of short stories. Each one just as good as the last. Sometimes I found some stories not as likable or half of the book this way. SO then I feel cheated or let down. Which I did not feel while reading this book. I was familiar with a lot of the stories but a bunch I was not familiar with so I was intrigued by those ones. Yet at the same time it was nice to rediscover and reconnect with the old ones as well.

Not every story is warm and fuzzy either. Some
Joy Pixley
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you read nothing else of this review, here's the most important part: at the end of the book is a set of brief commentaries about each story. I found the comments very interesting, so much so that I wish they'd been even longer. I didn't realize this until I'd read all the stories, and I ended up going back and rereading every story so that I could read the commentary in conjunction with it. So if you're interested in the commentary, flip to the back first.

This set of fairy tales and folk tal
Gail Baugniet
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The back cover of the book, The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, states that in the 1850s the author "traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales" so I had high hopes of reading detailed information about Bavaria in the 1850s. No such luck.

Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth offers saucy tales a bit to the left of PG-13 but the details are familiarly-laced with orphans, knights, prince and princess matings, talking animals, and pots of g
Karen Laird
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up cutting my teeth on all the best that the Grimm Brothers had to offer. The tales from the Black Forest of Germany and Europe were based on folk legend and tales dating back into the middle ages and older. I loved the stories of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and oh so many others. Disney took these tales and brightened them even more into “Happily Ever After” stories. What more could any child ever ask for growing up? It wasn’t until my adult years when I acquired the com
Courtney Kleefeld
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These newly discovered fairy tales remind me a little bit of the Grimms fairy tales, with a few differences. The characters here feel a little more interesting, with one or two minor details of the manner in which they are doing something, or a more precise detail. There is less description of place and objects here than in the Grimms fairy tales, which the Grimm brothers lengthened for literary purposes. And there is some crassness in some of the tales here, which while not pleasant, lends a se ...more
Silver Petticoat
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tale, reviews
Read this review and others at The Silver Petticoat Review: The Turnip Princess

Review by Elizabeth Hopkinson

In 2009, a fairy tale expert called Erika Eichenseer made an exciting discovery. After years of searching, she found about five hundred tales from the collection of 19th-century German folklorist Franz Xaver von Schonwerth (O in surname needs umlaut) in the municipal archive of the city of Regensburg. No one had read them for years and years. The story hit headlines around the world. Now
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a fun discovery! I would have loved to have had these growing up - I hope someone will release an illustrated version (if they haven’t already). A nicer larger cross section than one gets with Lange or the Grimms.
Lindsey Rojem
It was interesting to read a book of Fairy Tales not written by the Brothers Grimm. This was a different collection of stories, but they still felt very familiar.
Jessica Harrocks
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Best to be digested slowly, a few at a time. The commentary in the back might have been the best part.
I don’t appreciate the publication of this collection as much as other readers. I found the first few stories littered with modern language, some of the middle stories with an ending that didn’t fit and then the last few stories were just too abrupt.
Hannah Barnes
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
It's nice to read stories that are familiar in some ways and yet different from what I know. I could easily see many of these becoming tv shows or movies sometime in the future. I really liked how to the point everything was. It was a quick and easy read too!! ...more
Amy C.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This delightful assortment of fantastical anecdotes that originated in Germany is splendid for all ages.
At the end of the book, the origins of each tale are listed, providing for an even more interesting acquisition of knowledge surrounding these bizarre tales.
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