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Medievalism And Magic: Illustrating Classical French Fairy Tales

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a brief introduction dealing with the first editions of Charles Perrault's and Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy fairy tales in France. Before analysing Perrault's and D'Aulnoy's frontispieces, a clear definition of the term frontispiece needs to be given. Indeed, the terms 'title-page', 'frontispiece' and 'first page of the text' are often used interchangeably, as has been noted by Margaret Smith. Elements reminiscent of the medieval pictorial tradition appear most clearly in Perrault frontispiece and the illustration for the tale "Bluebeard". The mixture of different styles and periods in the illustrations by Simon Fokke and Clément Pierre Marillier, on the other hand, is probably intentional. Both illustrators created more realistic representations of medieval times for other texts. Although medieval elements are used in many of the illustrations discussed here, the question remains whether or not this is medievalism.

Keywords: Bluebeard; Charles Perrault; Clément Pierre Marillier; French fairy tales; medievalism; Simon Fokke



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