Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fair Brown & Trembling An Irish Cinderella Story

As part of our traditional tales unit, I always liked adding the multicultural tales I could find that had the same basic story told in different cultures. Cinderella is one of the easier tales to find. Publishers have printed many multicultural versions and it is a great way for students to see how traditional tales do emerge in different cultures at different times.

Fair, Brown & Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Storyis a tale that will be familiar to children who have read even the Disney version of the Cinderella tale. The Irish tale presents twists that change the story. However, this twist is not as different as those found in other multicultural Cinderella tales.

In this version Fair, Brown, and Trembling are three daughters of a widower who live in a castle in the hills of Ireland. No mention is made of a stepmother or any stepsisters. Trembling is the Cinderella character in the story and her sisters are jealous of her beauty. No mention is made as to why the father allows the bullying, but Trembling is the traditional servant character of the Cinderella tales. In this version, there is no ball. The sisters wear their best attire to attend mass, hoping to attract a suitor. Since they fear Trembling will distract their suitors, she is not allowed to go to Church with them.

A henwife has sympathy for Trembling and provides her with three opportunities to attend mass, but she is told she may not go into the Church. This prohibition is never clearly explained in the story. Trembling appears three times, attracting attention and eventually Princes vow to fight for her hand. This version does include a shoe hunt. However, there is also a battle among princes to determine who will be allowed to marry her.

1 comment:

  1. Even though lil m is 7, I bet she would love the Irish Princess version!