Tales of the Fays 2
TALES OF THE FAYS VOLUME 2
by Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy
introduced & adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Mike Hoffman
He was so surprised by the beauty and attire of the princess that he was unable to determine whether she was a dream or a reality.
This four-volume collection assembles all the known tales of the fays published by Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baronne d’Aulnoy (1651-1705).
From the early 1690s onwards, Madame d’Aulnoy was an active member of a literary salon where she and the Comtesse de Murat became the most prolific contributors to the new genre of the contes de fees, which they helped invent, shape and develop. Like almost all of the other members of her coterie, she became a renegade female aristocrat writing tales for the select consumption of other renegade female aristocrats about a world the corrupt glamour of which they understood only too well, with a depth of sarcasm that the innocent could not be expected to comprehend.
One should regard Madame d’Aulnoy and the Comtesse de Murat as significant writers of Decadent fantasy, and one wonders what they might have done had they been allowed to continue with their work. Given that both had extraordinary imaginative range, it is hard to imagine that they would have run out of inspiration, had they not been violently stopped in their tracks. We have to be grateful that they contrived to publish as much as they did during their brief window of opportunity, leaving behind fugitive material that could be recovered once the worst of the repression had blown over.
Considered separately Madame d’Aulnoy and the Comtesse de Murat were great writers of imaginative fiction, but as a competitive collective, they are unique in literary history, and it is as part of that collective endeavor that Madame d’Aulnoy is fully entitled to her classic status today.
TALES OF THE FAYS
DON GABRIEL PONCE DE LEON
DON FERNAND DE TOLEDO
THE YELLOW DWARF