Today gives us another Fairytale Reflections--(6) Katherine Roberts--at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles.
Katherine Roberts is another UK author who is not well known in the US, unfortunately. Most of her listings on Amazon USA are imports. You can see more listings on her Amazon.co.uk page.
However, you can read Roberts' short essay about The Snow Queen at Seven Miles today. Here is a short excerpt, but as always, click through to read all of her thoughts on the tale.
But back to the story. As soon as I discovered that in this fairytale it is the boy – Kai – who gets kidnapped, and the girl – Gerda – who sets out on a quest to rescue him, I was hooked. After all those sugary little princess stories, here was a true heroine setting out on her own adventures! (I was Gerda, of course.) My memory of the actual adventures Gerda had on her quest is hazy, and I know these are often edited for simplicity, so maybe that’s why. The version of the tale I re-read for this post has Gerda encountering a witch living in a cottage in the woods who tries to keep her as her own little girl, then a princess with a long line of suitors seeking her hand who tries to marry her off, followed by a robber girl who supplies her with a reindeer, and finally two old women – a Lapp and a Finn – living alone in the snow, who feed and warm Gerda on her journey. The DVD version leaves out the Lapp and Finn women entirely, linking each of Gerda’s encounters to a different season so that she journeys through spring, summer, and autumn to find winter and the Snow Queen. I don’t think the details really matter. However, I do think that, on a deeper level, Gerda’s quest represents the stages of womanhood she will travel through in the world and perhaps that’s why this fairytale speaks to me so strongly.
I am enjoying the discussion of less popular fairy tales in this series. I now find myself wondering which fairy tale will be discussed each week...