Most folk tales were gruesome until they were cleaned up for telling to children. They were cautionary tales, rather than bedtime stories. Here’s a link to some gory details left out by the late Victorians:
Rumplestiltskin ripped himself in half, Rapunzel’s prince was blinded when he fell from her tower–and she was pregnant, and Cinderella’s step-sisters chopped off pieces of their feet to wear her tiny shoes. Red Riding Hood not only ate her own grandmother but did a bit of strip tease and crawled in bed with the wolf.
And we think TV is violent. The censors would never let real fairy tales broadcast.
I hope to get more insight when I get to the topic of discussion at ConCarolinas “when fairies were scary.”
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