Four and Twenty Fairy Tales: Selected from Those of Perrault, and Other Popular Writers | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Mademoiselle de Lubert (Marie-Madeleine de Lubert)

OF THIS lady we have but very meagre information. She was born about the year 1710, and is said by some writers to have been the daughter of a President; and by others, of a "Trésorier de Marine." She appears to have led a studious and retired life, her love of literature indisposing her to marriage. Her Contes des Fées were commenced about 1740; and several have been attributed to her pen which she disavowed. Those she acknowledged were:--Terserion, La Princesse Lionette et le Prince Coquerico, Le Prince Glacé et la Princesse Etincelante, La Princesse Couleur de Rose et le Prince Celadon, La Princesse Camion, and La Nouvelle Léonille. She was also the author of a translation of Amadis des Gaules, Les Hauts Faits d'Esplandian, and Anecdotes Africaines, published in 1752. Voltaire and Fontenelle called her "Muse et grace." She was living in 1772, and died before 1779. She had disappeared from society for some time previously, and was presumed to be still living at that date; but a letter written by some one who knew of her decease, inserted in the Journal de Paris of that year (No. 69), addressed to the author of L'Almanach des Dames Illustres, by "l'Ombre de Mademoiselle de Lubert," and dated from the "Mille et unième Bosquet des Champs Elisées," seems to have been considered sufficient authority; though as no precise time or place is mentioned, the letter might have been written by the lady herself had she wished to deceive the public. She had, however, reached a very respectable age, and it is probable that she was dead at that period.

                "Her Contes des Fées," remarks one of her critics, "are not nearly equal to those of Mademoiselle de Murat and other ladies who have written in that style. They have less of moral purpose and allegorical allusion." This is quite true; and my object in publishing the two I have selected is to illustrate, as I have mentioned in my preface, the decline of the Fairy tale. Mademoiselle de Lubert is one of the latest of her class. Her stories are only designed to amuse. The publication of The Thousand and One Nights, by Galland, and the immense popularity that work immediately obtained, evidently affected the composition of fairy tales. Wild, extravagant adventures, unconnected incidents, transformations without point or object, a straining after the merely marvellous, and a total abandonment of the laughing philosophy and the unaffected morality which distinguish and immortalize the stories of Perrault and d'Aulnoy, were the first effects of the circulation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments. The next was the Orientalizing of every tale of enchantment. Dull Caliphs and Sultans deposed the merry old Kings who "once upon a time" ruled in Fairyland. The amours of the seraglio and the harem were substituted for the innocent courtships of princes or shepherds. The manners and dresses of the time, those delicious anachronisms which impart so much pleasantry--ay, and instruction--to the fairy tale, were carefully avoided; and the characters, arrayed in what the writers flattered themselves were Eastern costumes, were seriously placed in situations compared to which that of Molière's Monsieur Jourdain as Mamamonchi was a nearer approach to reality. Even those that had some claim to Oriental origin were so altered and "manufactured for the European market" that they were said to appear--

--en sortant de chez Barbin [1]     
Plus Arabe qu'en Arabie.

                Le Mercure Galant was flooded with these productions. Almanzor et Zehra, Conte Arabe; Almerine et Zelima, Conte Oriental; Balky, Conte Oriental; Zaman, Histoire Oriental, &c. Then we have Contes Mogol, Contes Turcs, Contes Chinois, Contes Tartares, Contes Persans, &c.; but we are forgetting Mademoiselle de Lubert and her



[1] Barbin was the publisher of the Mille et une Nuits.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Mademoiselle de Lubert (Marie-Madeleine de Lubert)
Tale Author/Editor: Planché, J. R.
Book Title: Four and Twenty Fairy Tales: Selected from Those of Perrault, and Other Popular Writers
Book Author/Editor: Planché, J. R.
Publisher: G. Routledge & Co.
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1858
Country of Origin: France
Classification: Introduction

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