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22450Re: [mythsoc] Fairy Tales

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  • John Rateliff
    Jun 13, 2011
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      Actually, this was only one theory, put forward by a bee-in-her-bonnet scholar* who thought every nursery rhyme was a coded critique of the Tudors. The Baring-Goulds do a fairly searing critique of her work in their wonderful ANNOTATED MOTHER GOOSE [1962], which I highly recommend.
          Don't know about THE TWELVE DAYS, but I wdn't have thought one wd have to smuggle Xian doctrine into what is after all a Christmas carol.
         Afraid I don't know Tatar's work; I'll be on the look-out for that.


      *one Katherine Elwes Thomas, in her THE REAL PERSONAGES OF MOTHER GOOSE [1930]

      On Jun 13, 2011, at 8:40 AM, Christopher Couch wrote:
      This might be an addendum, but nursery rhymes were religious and political messages wrapped in metaphor.  An example is "Four and twenty blackbirds," a rhyme referring to the gift of twenty-four land grants to King Henry VIII from Catholic leaders in the hope that the gift would be sufficient to satisfy the king's interest in confiscating all Catholic lands and other assets.  The gift wasn't sufficient.
      From the same time period, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" teaches Catholic catechism in code, when Catholic teaching had to be kept secret.
      Maria Tatar's annotations to traditional fairy tales might prove helpful as well.
      Good luck!
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