Today’s edition of Fairy Tale Friday I’m going to talk a little bit about the story The Princess and the Pea. As usual like a lot of the fairy tales I talk about my first encounter with this particular story was through Faerie Tale Theater. When I bought the DVD collection and watched them all over again I was struck with the image of the little pea inside the glass display case. This was the visual inspiration that helped me write First Frost. So this book was inspired by a lot of little things that helped me create the world Bianca lives in at the moment. I loved the idea of having fairy tale items that you could visit.
I actually found the first 6 minutes of that episode if you guys wanna check it out real quick. You can definitely close your eyes and imagine Bianca and Rose working in a place similar to that. http://youtu.be/PjnEB1ot3SQ (youtube.com doesn’t have the embedded code so you’ll have to go to that link to watch that particular clip).
The Princess and the Pea is the story of a young princess that is caught in a terrible thunderstorm and goes to a nearby castle seeking shelter. (FYI This story was written by Hans Christian Andersen.) The Queen doesn’t believe the young girl when she tells her that she’s a real princess. So the Queen decides to ‘test’ her by putting a tiny little pea at the bottom of many mattresses. I always thought that was a little crazy but that’s just me. Anyway it turned out that the princess did feel the pea and she passed the Queen’s test. And because she’s a real princess she’s allowed to marry the Queen’s son the prince.
This is the cliffnotes version I found on Wikipedia:
The story tells of a prince who wants to marry a princess, but is having difficulty finding a suitable wife. Something is always wrong with those he meets, and he cannot be certain they are real princesses. One stormy night (always a harbinger of either a life-threatening situation or the opportunity for a romantic alliance in Andersen’s stories), a young woman drenched with rain seeks shelter in the prince’s castle. She claims to be a princess, so the prince’s mother decides to test their unexpected guest by placing a pea in the bed she is offered for the night, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. In the morning the guest tells her hosts—in a speech colored with double entendres—that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed; which she is certain has bruised her. The prince rejoices. Only a real princess would have the sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding. The two are married, and the pea is placed in the Royal Museum.