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Old 02-19-2016, 11:49 AM   #1
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De Morgan, Mary: The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde (illus). v1. 19 Feb 2016

The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde and Other Stories
By Mary De Morgan (1850–1907)
Illustrated by Walter Crane (1845–1915)

First published 1880. The text and illustrations of this book are in the public domain worldwide because the creators died more than one hundred years ago; and first publication was prior to 1923.

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Mary De Morgan, an English writer, was the author of three volumes of fairy tales: “On a Pincushion” (1877), “The Necklace of Princess Fiorimonde” (1880) and “The Windfairies” (1900). She also wrote short stories, a number of socio-political articles, and, under the name William Dodson, the novel “A Choice of Chance” (1887).

Although De Morgan is one of the lesser known authors of literary fairytales, her writings played a comprehensive and central role in the evolution of the genre. Edith Nesbit, among other writers, took inspiration from De Morgan.

Her works, influenced by Hans Christian Andersen, are remarkable in deviating from the fairytale norm (not always having a happy ending, or having the protagonist gain, not wealth or power, but rather, the wisdom to recognize the value of living without these things); and in the subtle satirical element of political comment. Her stories frequently have strong female protagonists (often outwitting or rescuing men), and sometimes mock society's expectations of women. A theme runs through many De Morgan stories of the pitfalls of pride and vanity, and redemption from such folly.
(—Adapted from Wikipedia.)

EXCERPT -- from The Bread of Discontent:
Spoiler:
ONCE THERE WAS a baker who had a very bad, violent temper, and whenever a batch of bread was spoiled, he flew into such a rage that his wife and daughters dared not go near him. One day it happened that all his bread was burnt, and on this he stamped and raved with anger. He threw the loaves all about the floor, when one, burnt blacker than the rest, broke in half, and out of it crept a tiny thin black man, no thicker than an eel, with long arms and legs.

“What are you making all this fuss about, Master Baker?” said he. “If you will give me a home in your oven I will see to the baking of your bread, and will answer for it that you shall never have so much as a loaf spoiled.”

“And pray what sort of bread would it be, if you were in the oven, and helped to bake it?” said the baker; “I think my customers might not like to eat it.”

“On the contrary,” said the imp, “they would like it exceedingly. It is true that it would make them rather unhappy, but that will not hurt you, as you need not eat it yourself.”

“Why should it make them unhappy?” said the baker. “If it is good bread it won’t do anyone harm, and if it is bad they won’t buy it.”

“It will taste very good,” replied the imp, “but it will make all who eat it discontented, and they will think themselves very unfortunate whether they are so or no; but this will not do you any harm, and I promise you that you shall sell as much as you wish.”

“Agreed!” said the baker. So the little imp crept into the oven and curled himself into the darkness behind, and the baker saw no more of him.


And then? And then?

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Text and illustrations were obtained from the Internet Archive. OCR errors were corrected; punctuation, italics, and diacritics formatted; some paragraph breaks added for improved readability. Embedded font for titling.


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More Victorian fairy tales for your reading pleasure.
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This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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