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The Impossible Enchantment and Other Tales of Faerie

by Comte de Caylus
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

The Comte de Caylus was one of the major writers of the “second wave” of fairy tales produced in the 1730s and 1740s, when the publication of unlicensed works became far too abundant for effective suppression by the authorities.

He displayed a flair for the bizarre that continually edged into the surreal, and never entirely forsook the spirit of parody in which he had commenced. His tales expand on the notion that the fays have a council which regulates their activity and Faerie comes to refer to the polity of the fays, a kind of parallel world in which fays and other supernatural beings live.

His collection of tales set in a land where faerie has determined the people must change sex every year on their birthday also aspires to the status of a conte philosophique. The real strength of his longer stories lies in their many phantasmagorical elements.

No other writer of fairy tales gives the impression of dabbling in the genre purely for fun, even if Caylus does take time out to add a literary flourish, make a shrewd observation, or insert a serious argument. Because of that, in spite of its literary flaws, Caylus’ work remains very entertaining.

CONTENTS: Fééries Nouvelles (1741-1745)
Prince Courtebotte and Princess Zibeline
Prince Muguet and Princess Zaza
Tourlou and Rirette
The Yellow Bird
Princess Pimprenelle and Prince Romarin
The Gifts
Nonchalante and Papillon
The Palace of Ideas
Princess Luminous
Bleuette and Coquelicot
The Impossible Enchantment
Princess Minutie and King Floridor
The Prince of Hearts and Princess Grenadine
Princess Azerolle
Fleurette and Abricot: A Frame Story
The Mangy Wolf
Bellinette; or, The Young Old Woman
Author’s Preface to Cadichon & Jeanette
Cadichon; or, Everything Works Out for Him Who Waits
Jeannette; or, Indiscretion
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford

Cover by Mike Hoffman

Published by Black Coat Press in November 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61227-809-4

The Brian Stableford Website