Princess of the paranormal paradiddle.
- Jan 5, 2015
Fairy-tales have been subjected to a wide range of interpretation, as you say, but the demonized step-mother has an explanation which can be verified. The early editions of the Grimms' collections were scholarly transcriptions of traditional German Fireside Tales and were not aimed at children. Neither were the stories! Subsequent editions bowdlerized the texts, which found a larger readership among the young. Evil mothers were turned into step-mothers, though their acts remained quite horrid enough to be entertaining.
It's a long time since this subject obsessed me, although I'm not sure if I recall the step mothers having originally been birth mothers. Was this to make their evil doings more palatable?
And then there's Angela Carter, who cared little for the faint of heart!