It’s looks like “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm,” the two fairy-tale-based series this year might have some new material to mine. According to the Guardian (UK), 500 new fairy tales have been discovered in Regensburg, Germany. The had been locked away in an archive for more than 150 years.
Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, a local historian in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz, published the stories in the 1850s, roughly the same time the Brothers Grimm were collecting their tales.
He had spent decades collecting them into a book called Aus der Oberpfalz – Sitten und Sagen, but the book did not gain any following. Oberpfalz cultural curator Erika Eichenseer found the 500 tales. Many do not appear in any other collection and some are variations on known fairy tales.
One of the tales is a story of a “maiden who escapes a witch by transforming herself into a pond. The witch then lies on her stomach and drinks all the water, swallowing the young girl, who uses a knife to cut her way out of the witch,” according to the Guardian. Try imagining that one as a Disney movie.
The fairy tales were apparently unearthed a couple years ago, but are just now getting ready to make their English-language debut.
Being both a writer and a reader who enjoys both history and fantasy, it will be interesting to see if fairy tales catch on this time around, though according to the article, they might need a little literary flare.