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Tales of the Fays Volume 1

by Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

This two-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.

Gracieuse and Percinet
The Golden-Haired Beauty
The Blue Bird
The Sprite Prince
Princess Springtime
Princess Rosette
The Golden Branch
The Orange Tree and the Bee
The Good Little Mouse
Tales of the Fays:
— Don Gabriel Ponce de Leon
— The Sheep
— Finette Cendron
— Fortunée
— Babiole
— Don Fernand de Toledo
— The Yellow Dwarf
— Green Worm
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.

Cover by Mike Hoffman

Published by Black Coat Press in February 2019
ISBN: 978-1-61227-836-0

The Brian Stableford Website