Odds are good that there'll be a few people who can't name many more. Most will also produce Rumpelstiltskin, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant-killer, the Nine Dancing Princesses, the Princess and the Pea, Three Billy Goats Gruff, the Three Little Pigs...Donkeyskin...Snow White, Blood Red... And then we'll begin to peter out, different people coming up with a few more suggestions. You'd think that there were only twenty or thirty fairytales out there.
With my memory, I couldn't really claim to name dozens off the top of my head. But I was lucky enough in my teens to stumble across the collections of Ruth Manning-Sanders, which exposed me to so many more. Manning-Sanders collected fairytales from all around the world (though with a preponderance of European tales) in books with names like A Book of Sorcerers and Spells and A Book of Enchantments and Curses. Bizarrely, libraries liked to keep these gems in the reference collection where few were likely to find them - but that worked out well for me! No competition.
Not only did I discover that there were a great many fairytales which feature Girls Doing Stuff (usually rescuing princes), but the Manning-Sanders collections were taken to an extra level by the illustrations of Robin Jacques.
|Frontispiece, A Book of Charms and Changelings|
|Chien-Nang: be careful who you elope with|
|The Flute Player: Witches & changelings (or baby stew!)|
|The Great Bear of Orange: Katrine gets thrown to the snakes, the sharks AND the lions!|
|The Hat: First rule of fairytales: always be kind to strangers.|
|Vasilissa Most Lovely: Baba Yaga has an eccentric taste in torches.|