REVIEW: “Bridal Choice” by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Review of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Eve Mason, trans., “The Enchanted Prince”, in A String of Pearls: A Collection of Five German Fairy Tales by Women (2020): 53-56 — Order here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

In fairy land there is a handsome young accomplished and most definitely eligible fairy prince, his only flaw that he allows his wit to tend towards cruelty. His mother the fairy queen instructs him to travel to planet earth to find a bride suitable to match him, and of course all the women he meets are impressed by his many virtues and they all seek to flatter his own vice, until the latter almost overcomes the former. Of course, the cure is to be found in a gentle human girl who cares naught for his boasts, because of course no profligate fairy prince could ever be fixed except through the reproof of an innocent woman. The structure of the story was stereotypical and trope-y, but the details that fleshed out the structure were strange and sometimes unexpected.
This was an odd little story!

(Originally published in German in 1892.)