David G. Allan writes about taking a Fairy Tale road trip in Germany, a 350 mile route that takes tourists from Hanau to Hameln, that is, from the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm to the town that claims to have hired the Pied Piper to exterminate their rats. At various stops, he reads the Grimms’ fairy tales with his two-and-a half year old daughter Alice and discovers that she connects immediately with them, even the “uncensored” tales. Allan proposes the trip as an alternative to the “tidy faux castles” and “grinning, crinolined mascots” of Disney World, and I think he won his bet.
The trip along the Fairy Tale route provided a chance for Allan, his wife, and daughter to fall under the spell of the stories, to discover their horrors (Allan mentions “How Some Children Played at Slaughtering” but he does not read it to Alice) and their beauty (he is enraptured by the Dornröschenschloss Sababurg and reads his daughter the story of Briar Rose–uncensored, as he puts it). I’m assuming that he’s not referring to the Italian versions of Sleeping Beauty in which the king rapes the comatose princess. I’m also curious about his use of the name Isabella in the Grimms’ version of Cinderella (see below).
Alice’s introduction to the world of the Grimm tales began on our flight, as I read to her from the brothers’ version of Cinderella. “Once upon a time there was a girl named Isabella whose mother had died.”
Any ideas about Isabella?