Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The robber bridegroom (Welty) 80

Kindly lent to me by Claire from Paperback Reader, The Robber Bridegroom is Eudora Welty's first novel and quite a contrast to the only other Welty that I have read, Losing Battles. The book is a retelling of one of the Grimm's Fairy tales, of the same name, only set in Welty's Missouri. The original story is recognisable, with a wicked stepmother, beautiful heroine, wonderful hero, weak father , and a "happily ever after" ending. I don't know anything at all about American folklore, but according to the introduction Welty drew heavily on it to turn the story into a novella by adding other characters. It was interesting to read this tale in a completely different setting; after all I suppose this is what folk lore and fairy tales are really about - familiar stories, retold in the situation inhabited by the storytellers.

I'm hugely intrigued now to read more by Welty - I greatly enjoyed this version of a fairy tale, and am curious to come across more of her writing and see whether her other books are like this or more like Losing battles.

It's been published twice by Virago, with an original green cover (which was the edition that Claire lent me) and a modern green cover.


  1. Viragos are just so diverse, aren't they? I love both of these covers.

  2. This sounds entirely different from The Optimist's Daughter and I am looking forward to finally reading the above copy! As a huge fan of fairytale re-tellings, I have high hopes that it will be a Virago I will enjoy (it also comes recommended by Nymeth).