By Holly Tucker
This has been a week of book giveaways…lots of them. So I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to add my own book on fairy tales into the mix. Though it does feel a little weird to do such self-promotion, particularly for a book that’s been out for awhile. (Don’t worry, I won’t be so self-effacing when my next one, Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, comes out with W.W. Norton next year!)
Pregnant Fictions: Childbirth and the Fairy Tale in Early Modern France looks at the intersection of medicine, midwifery, and tale-telling in the earliest European fairy tales. It turns out that fairy tale writers (mostly all women) knew a lot about what was being cooked up in the (mostly all male) medical community when it came to theories on where babies came from.
Did you ever notice that fairy tale mothers are either infertile and/or give birth to daughters? Ever wonder why that might be? In the meantime, share a “wives’ tale” about pregnancy in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Pregnant Fictions. What tales did your mother, her mother, her mothers-mother tell about making, carrying, and birthing babies that you think might date back centuries?
Here’s one to get us started: When I was pregnant, I craved fruit smoothies. One early morning, I even paced outside of the door of a nearby Smoothie King waiting for them to open. I had a girl. I should have known it, 17th century midwives sure did. Crave fruit, it’s a girl. Crave steak, it’s a boy.