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Old French Fairy Tales [Paperback]

Comtesse De Segur , Virginia Frances Sterrett

RRP: £6.42
Price: £5.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

13 Jun 2013
A wonderful collection of fairy tales of the seventeenth century told with that charm and finesse so characteristic of the French. Eighteen illustrations by Virginia Sterrett are included.

Frequently Bought Together

Old French Fairy Tales + By a Woman's Hand (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) + Goble's Fairy Tale Illustrations (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
Price For All Three: £35.97

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor Printing 25 Nov 2011
By black_sea - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought that this hardback volume would offer a high quality edition of this work. This is not the case. This is a very poor printing of this work. The paper quality is similar to newsprint or industrial paper towels. The print quality is also inferior; there is much blurring and smudging. Often, whole pages are ink-tinged like photocopies. Most disappointing are the reproductions of the artwork. There are no color reproductions and the black & white reproductions share the same faults as the printing of the text.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictible but interesting and entertaining 3 July 2011
By Summer Fey Foovay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have nearly 100 wonderful old traditional fairy tale collections that I've put on my Kindle for my favorite price - free. So why on earth chose this one to read first?

Simple. My Grandmother is French.

The first story, The Story of Blondine, Bonne-Biche, and Beau-minon is full of beautiful imagery. That's the only real complaint I would have about this book - there are places that clearly had illustrations, but they are not included. There is also no table of contents which is rather inconvienent.

In the next story, Good Little Henry calls on the Fairy Bienfaisante for help when his dear mother falls ill and is near death. The Fairy tells Henry to get a leaf from a plant on top of the mountain outside his house. Of course, it's never really that easy! His is a master quest taking him several years to finally accomplish, but he and his mother are rewarded with health and a life of comfort in the end. This and the following tales are the sort of stories I can imagine parents telling their children at bedtime over a few weeks or by the fire in the winter. They are tales of great trials but the obedient and loving child is always rewarded. Wicked and bad people are punished horribly - as are disobedient - and overly curious - children. Children, however, can repent and change their ways. Good and kind children are rewarded. In the end, everyone finds someone to love and lives happily ever after.

You didn't need a reviewer to know that, did you? I enjoyed the stories, predictable as they may be. And I got to thinking that stories like these to teach a child to modify their behavior to be good, obedient, hard working, thinking people is not a bad thing. Far more painless than spankings, or long lectures, or time outs - and I suspect - far more effective. I don't know - you try it on your grandkids and tell me, okay?

I got quite a giggle out of Blondine's story where people's names have a tendency to reflect their character, such as Prince Violent and Queen Indolent. I also loved the rousing adventurous chariot race - with the chariots driven by the ladies! - in Rosette's story. You don't expect that in a 17th century tale! I had to actually look up the word genius as it is used in these stories. Here it is an archaic meaning of a person or entity who has an undue influence on another - as in; "so and so is my evil genius who leads me into temptation". I also found it interesting that it was customary to thank God AND the good fairy for your good fortune. Children were chosen a fairy godmother - literally - at birth so that the powerful fairy would watch over them, like what we now call a guardian angel. It is clear that the "new" Christianity was embraced right alongside the "old" Pagan Fairy beliefs during this period.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely! 20 Aug 2011
By Amy Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have the kindle version of these stories, and they are a wonder. I love to read fairy tales to my little girl, and in particular, I love French fairy tales (Perrault comes to mind), but often these are too scary to read before bed. The stories are not your average tales, and the protagonists flit across several stories like they are chapters, but there are several "books" within the book, so you get a different hero/heroine depending on what section you are in. Sincerely worth reading, these are not classic tales you may already be familiar with, and they are not too yawningly moralistic, even though you will get to explain to your kid what the word "indolent" means.

The old french fairy tales in this collection are NOT too scary, they are lusciously beautiful and indulgent, and even the Kindle has good versions of the illustrations. I'd be very curious to get a hardcover with glossy pages, because the color illustrations would be seriously worth it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Old French Fairy Tales 21 Sep 2013
By Mithril - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Old French Fairy Tales contains five lengthy and heavy-handedly archaic fairy tales. It is not appropriate for children because the stories depict only unhealthy relationships with gender roles as defined by the 1800s. It is not appropriate for adults because it's really boring and tedious.

I'm also not sure why the book is pretending these are "old" French tales, because there is nothing that's traditional about them, do not be fooled.

Contains the following stories:

Blondine: A perfect princess gets herself into trouble because she doesn't follow directions given by her boyfriend and his mother.

Good Little Henry: A boy must save his mother by facing the most pathetic challenges in climbing a mountain. Cries for help at every obstacle.

Princess Rosette: A perfect princess is summoned to visit her family, and with the help of a fairy resists their evil intentions.

The Little Grey Mouse: An isolated child wonders about a shed in her garden, whereupon her curiosity leads her to ill ends until she learns never to question the men in her life.

Ourson: An otherwise perfect boy is born with too much hair. Meets another girl flawed with curiosity, must constantly save her from herself.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Free Public domain version??? 14 Sep 2014
By Meghan Lansford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
IS THE FREE VERSION ON KINDLE **EVER** GOING BE FIXED??!! it's public domain and I've been waiting over six months while it's been "under review"!
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