White as Milk, Red as Blood: The Forgotten Fairy Tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth (Author), Willow Dawson (Illustrator), Shelley Tanaka (Translator), Philip Pullman (Foreword) was released last year. Not to be confused with the previously published The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales, this is an alternate translation of tales by Schönwerth. I have posted previously about other books and articles about Schönwerth--you can find those posts here including one about the discovery of the "lost" tales--a romantic marketing notion when "semi-forgotten" and "previously neglected" would be more accurate. But I am all for whatever it takes to get fairy tale collections supported and readily available for new audiences, especially new translations. This newest collection contains fewer tales and is less academic in nature but offers lush illustrations instead.
This striking, richly illustrated edition of long-lost German fairy tales is not a book for children. It is a book for adults. Or for adults to frighten children into behaving...whichever you prefer.
In 2009, a trove of lost fairy tales collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth--a 19th-century collector of Bavarian folk tales and contemporary of the Brothers Grimm--was unearthed in a municipal archive in Germany. Unlike the Grimms, who polished the stories they collected, adapting to contemporary tastes, von Schönwerth recorded the stories as they were told, plucking them directly from the living, breathing tree of oral storytelling, retaining their darker themes and sometimes shocking violence. Von Schönwerth published a single volume of these tales in his lifetime, but the vast majority languished and were forgotten over the years, effectively frozen in time until their recent rediscovery.
Now, award-winning illustrator Willow Dawson, in collaboration with translator Shelley Tanaka, has brought these long-lost tales unforgettably to life, illuminating with striking woodcut-style illustrations a spectacular collection that will change the way you look at fairy tales forever. Paired with Dawson's arresting artwork, the stories in White as Milk, Red as Blood race with palpable energy through fantasy landscapes darker, bawdier and racier than anything we find in Disney or the Grimms.
Following the tradition of illustrated fairy-tale collections, White as Milk, Red as Blood is the very first fully illustrated, full-colour edition of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's work. It is a timeless tome of enchantment and foreboding: tales--as haunting as they are profound--of powerful princesses, helpless men, lecherous villains, virtuous girls, witches, giants, at least one female serial killer, mer-people, shape-shifters and talking beasts--a kaleidoscope of wonders both familiar and entirely new; rich and strange.
Dawson and Tanaka's dark and lively take on von Schönwerth's collected tales will appeal to fans of Mike Mignola's classic fantasy comic-book series Hellboy.