Once upon a time there was a princess so beautiful that her people named her Fairer-than-the-Fairies. Of course, with a name like that, Fairer was destined for trouble.
When the wicked queen of the fairies hears of Fairer's reputation, the wicked queen swears to avenge her fairies' pride. She captures the princess and condemns her to complete an impossible task by daybreak on pain of death.
But while Fairer is held prisoner, she meets a fellow captive--another mortal princess--and the rebellious fairy prince. Together, they must complete the wicked queen's tasks and rescue the good queen of the fairies or all is lost.
Read two translations of this lesser-known 1698 French fairy tale, with commentary, and discover a tale featuring the power of friendship and love in its many forms. Come for the princesses and princes, queens and fairies. Enjoy the poetry, ancient history, and mythology. Stay for the friendship, and, perhaps, fall in love.
Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force, or Mademoiselle de La Force (1654–1724) was a French novelist and poet. Her best-known work was her 1698 fairy tale Persinette, which was adapted by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 as the story of Rapunzel.
She was the daughter of François de Caumont de La Force (eighth son of Marshal de La Force), marquis de Castelmoron and of Marguerite de Viçose. Raised as a Huguenot Protestant, she converted to Catholicism in 1686 and received a pension of 1000 écus from Louis XIV. Like other famous women writers of the 17th century, she was named a member of the Academy of the Ricovrati of Padua.
Her first novels were in the popular vein of "histoires secrètes", short novels recounting the "secret history" of a famous person and linking the action generally to an amorous intrigue, such as Histoire secrete de Bourgogne (1694), Histoire secrète de Henri IV, roi de Castille (1695), Histoire de Marguerite de Valois, reine de Navarre (1696).
She is also well known for participating in the 17th century vogue of contes des fées along with Henriette-Julie de Murat, Marie Catherine d'Aulnoy, Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier, and Charles Perrault. She wrote Les Contes des Contes (1698) and Les Contes des Fées.