[DWJ] Feeling sorry for Penelope (was Fire and Hemlock Question)

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Tue Aug 22 20:04:18 EDT 2006

> >Where *does* the story of the girl who makes shirts for her six brothers
> >out of thistles to disenchant them from being swans come from?
> *Seven* brothers, isn't it?  But anyway.  I couldn't swear to it, because 
> the book is in my parents' house and I'm not, but I *think* this one is 
> another Norse one; I'm fairly sure the book I know it from is a collection 
> of Norse tales.  (Must see if I can find that book when I'm over there 
> tomorrow.)

Well... it's Nettles, in the Hans Christian Andersen version, I think-- 
The Wild Swans.

However, I can't find the Nettle version in Grimm-- I went and looked, 
because I was just working on alibrary instruction session for a seminar 
centered around German Fairy Tales and I'd been talking about the whole 
Nettle thing; that Andersen's version doesn't seem cognizant of the fact 
that nettle is another bast fiber; it's playing on the idea of nettle as 
some wierd, strange, perilous source of flax.
You have to feel sorry for the king in Andersen's version. He's really 
being tortured by the manipulations of the archbishop, and the evidence 
is all against the poor princess... but he still didn't believe it until 
he was forced to. (The Ghouls in the churchyard are a nice added touch.)

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it screams
'Why don't you ever listen to me?' and lets fly with a club."

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