I’ve wanted to write a version of Allerleirauh (All-Kinds-of-Fur or Thousand Furs) ever since I was a teenager. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you check out it out here (there’s also an annotated version of the variant Donkeyskin at Sur la Lune) It’s a complex tale; it starts off incredibly dark and deals with some pretty heavy topics (like threatened incest) and yet as far as fairy tale heroines goes, Allerleirauh is one of the most self-determining. I love that she doesn’t just wait around for bad things to happen to her but makes a plan and escapes.
When people ask me what the fairy tale is about I tend to compare it to Cinderella, because of the dresses and balls, but I think Allerleirauh is definitely a more kick ass heroine. But the original definitely leaves some room for interpretation. Why does she choose dresses like the sun, the moon, and the stars? What’s up with the charms? Did the king in the new kingdom really not realize the mysterious princess was Allerleirauh? It’s so fun to get into the details and figure out why the characters act the way they do?
Also, I’ve full on fallen in love with the hero of this novel. I won’t tell you much other than that his name is Frederick and he’s flat out awesome.
What say you? Have you ever read a version of Allerleirauh? I highly recommend the picture book Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck as it got me hooked on this tale (and cause it’s for kids there’s no “marriage to her father,” it’s marriage to an ogre instead). If you’ve read it, why do you think she picked those dresses? Why do you think she slipped charms into the soup, and what on earth was their purpose? (Note: I do have answers for these, but I don’t want to spoil you yet!)
And if you’ve got time on your hands check out my pinterest inspiration board for Sun, Moon, Stars. It’s still a work in progress.