The Story Behind the Story of “Allerleirauh.”
The Original Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tale of “Allerleirauh” – All-Kinds-of-Fur http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm065.html
The story of “All Kinds of Fur” or “Allerleirauh” was something I discovered at a really young age. I had been at a store with my Dad, where I found a VHS of fairy tales. It was called the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tale Collection (or something like that) and I was super excited because I could make out the words “Snow White.” At the time, I didn’t have the Disney’s version, and honestly had never seen it either! I remember begging my Dad to get it for me, and I’m sure with all my nagging, he gave in.
I don’t think it was until some time had passed that I made it through the non-Disney version of “Snow White” and noticed there were other fairy tale cartoons on the VHS. “The Frog Prince,” “The Wedding of Mrs. Fox” and then a Fairy Tale called “The Coat of Many Colours.”
I remember loving the story for the magical, beautiful dresses, the handsome Prince and the element of mystery – the Prince not knowing who the maiden is that attends his parties and works in his kitchens. But it really wasn’t until I was a late teenager that I finally discovered what the real fairy tale was called and the many different versions of the story. Since that time, the fairy tale always stuck with me. I was haunted by the tale up into my college years, when I tried to write a version of “Allerleirauh,” but it just wasn’t the right time. In January of 2015, I decided to tackle it again, and today I have a finished product!
Why did I pick this story compared to more popular fairy tales? “Allerleirauh” was a story that I loved. I had always searched for different version of the story, hoping that other authors wrote knew of the Fairy Tale and wrote their own versions! Sadly, the only version I ever came across was Robin McKinley’s “Deer Skin.” (Yes! That is actually a version of Allerleirauh!) I had known for a long time I wanted to write a retelling or my own version of the story. I had a really good friend at the time of when I had just begun writing, who had told me of some struggle in her own life; I wanted to write this novel for her, so I did!
What you have now, is my gift to her, and a gift to myself.
When I tackled “Part Two: A Girl and Her Coat” – I knew I didn’t want Aurelia to be a scullery maid to the Prince; that’s the traditional way the story is written. I thought of “The Little Mermaid,” and how Prince Eric took Ariel in. He showed her his Kingdom and befriended her on some level. I wanted my Prince – Prince Klaus – to take on that role in Aurelia’s life. I didn’t want him to be judgmental or condemning (in the sense of having her work for him as a servant.) I wanted to have a sense of equality between the two of them; I thought that was a really important aspect to the story, and the overall message I wanted to send to the readers.
Essentially that we all have horrible things that happen to us in our lives; it can be our parents divorcing, bullying, separation from the people we love – and even among the worst – rape. But these things do not define us as who we are. How we react, how we move on in our lives – how we choose to live – now, that’s what defines us. Just as Prince Klaus says “You are more,” I truly believe that. We are more. We are so much more than incidents that have happened to us. We are what happens afterwards; the reactions – the solutions.
I did provide a link to the Original Fairy Tale, so that you – as the readers! - could experience the Grimm Brother’s version. I truly hope that you enjoy it! In all of it’s darkness and strangeness, “Allerleirauh” is beautiful; a story of hope and perseverance.
Thank you for having me today on your blog! And I hope all of you enjoy “Allerleirauh!” J