"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. (But keep your copy of In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales for yourself)"
— Albert Einstein (with some slight editing!)
— Albert Einstein (with some slight editing!)
Not long ago I read and really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts by Mitzi Szereto, an erotic take on Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice (1813). I thought it was very well written and a lot of fun.
Fairy tales are one of my interests. I devoted a day to them during Irish Short Stories Week I. Fairy tales are one of the vehicles for the passing down of the folk wisdom of a culture. They have been collected and seriously studied for a long time now.
In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales by Mitzi Szereto (USA) is almost two books in one. of It is a serious study of the erotic implications and history of the fairy tale across numerous cultures. I was glad to see that Szereto's knowledge of fairy tales goes beyond the Euro-Centric bounds of most works on the fairy tale. The format is a good one. There is a genuinely erudite introduction to the fairy tale followed by erotic rewrites of fifteen tales. Each tale is also given a historical introduction that tells us about the history of the rewritten tale and its recurrence in various cultures.
The stories felt just like fairy tales as I read them but with a twist. I will just look at three of the very most famous fairy takes to give you an idea of the stories.
Everybody knows the story of Cinderella. Even if you never read it anywhere I know you must have seen it on TV numerous times. Cinderella, a step child reduced to household slave to her evil step mother and two step sisters, goes to the Prince's Ball. The Prince meets her and falls in love. She disappears at midnight leaving only a shoe behind. The Prince wants to marry her and sets out through
his small kingdom looking for the woman whose foot can fit into this very small shoe. As the story is rewritten the shoe is not a shoe and the foot is not a foot. Once you read it you will have to concede that maybe this is the "adult meaning" of this story all along. One thing Szereto says is that erotic fairy tales are in part a form of "servant's revenge" in which wicked stories can be told about their betters without fear of punishment. How the prince goes about looking for the proper fit of his "foot" in the tightest "shoe" in the kingdom is pretty much x-rated once you get the idea. It is hard to resist the Freudian take on this story once you hear it.
I think "Little Red Riding Hood" was my favorite retelling. It is just hilarious once you give yourself over to the malicious fun of the story. I will just say Little Red Riding Hood is all grown up and she is a serious menace to any Wolves or Princes who are foolish enough to trifle with her as she goes deep in the woods to grandmother's house. I think you will laugh when you find out what is under that hood.
"Repunzel" is a very funny rewrite. I will just say when she lets down her hair I at first said "Sweet Repunzel thanks for letting down your hair but that was not quite what I expected!"
In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales by Mitzi Szereto is a very funny, well written and researched work. I liked it a lot and endorse it to anybody who likes a bit of naughty fun on occasion. Don't forget it is also a serious work of learning.
Here is Mitzi's biography (from her Amazon pages):
"MITZI SZERETO is a bestselling author and anthology editor of multi-genre and erotic fiction and non-fiction, blogger for the popular ERRANT RAMBLINGS: MITZI SZERETO'S WEBLOG (http://mitziszereto.com/blog), and the creator/presenter for the internet TV channel MITZI TV (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which offers a quirky take on London.
Her published titles include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: HIDDEN LUSTS; RED VELVET AND ABSINTHE: PARANORMAL EROTIC ROMANCE; IN SLEEPING BEAUTY'S BED: EROTIC FAIRY TALES (solo short story collection); THE NEW BLACK LACE BOOK OF WOMEN'S SEXUAL FANTASIES (non-fiction/survey); GETTING EVEN: REVENGE STORIES (crime/multi-genre); DYING FOR IT: TALES OF SEX AND DEATH (erotica/multi-genre); WICKED: SEXY TALES OF LEGENDARY LOVERS (erotica/romance/historical); the EROTIC TRAVEL TALES anthology series (erotica/romance); THE WORLD'S BEST SEX WRITING 2005"…
I was provided a free E-Book by the author.
Thanks for the lovely review!
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading 'Hidden Lusts' next.
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