Archive for December 9th, 2017


The Snow Queen, by Edmund Dulac, appearing in Stories from Hans Andersen by H. C. Andersen (Hodder and Stoughton, 1911). Via Project Gutenberg.

When it came to writing today’s post, I had it in my head that Gerda in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen had a great variety of food in her travels through the seasons to find Kay. But Andersen makes only passing mentions of the girl’s food. When living in the house with the wondrous flower garden, she is allowed to eat all the cherries she wishes. In a brief aside, these may be one of the ways in which she is enchanted into forgetting Kay, as when mortals, when in faery lands, eat the food and drink made available, and thus forget all about their homes. In the palace, she begins with scraps of bread provided by crows, but leaves on her quest in a coach “well stored with sweet cakes, and under the seat … fruit and gingerbread nuts”. In contrast, the robbers live simply on what they hunt and forage in the forest – rabbits and hares, and the little robber girl herself gives Gerda hams and bread as a leaving gift. There aren’t any details of the food provided by the Lapland and Finland women, but it seems plausible that fish was involved somehow. (more…)

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