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Found in Translation

Found in Translation

Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” in English

(p.37) Chapter 3 Found in Translation
Casie E. Hermansson
University Press of Mississippi

The first English translation of Charles Perrault’s French fairy tale, “Bluebeard,” was provided by Robert Samber in 1729. Samber’s edition, entitled Histories, or Tales of past Times...with morals, by M. Perrault, Translated into English was followed by the publishing of a series of reprints, new editions, and bilingual versions throughout the eighteenth century. Moreover, it also strongly impressed itself on the “Bluebeard tradition” that continued to thrive throughout the Victorian period. English translations based on Perrault’s “Bluebeard” remained the norm even after the appearance of Grimm stories from Kinderund Hausmärchen (Grimm 1812–1815, 1819), which were translated (without any “Bluebeard” variant) into English as German Popular Stories in 1823–1826 (Grimm). Perrault’s “Bluebeard” was translated in editions of Mother Goose. In her book on English chapbooks, Margaret Spufford’s very first quotation from a reader includes a testimony to “Bluebeard.”

Keywords:   fairy tale, English translations, Charles Perrault, Bluebeard, Robert Samber, Grimm stories, German Popular Stories, Mother Goose, chapbooks, Margaret Spufford

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