“Farewell, Princess Dagmar! Grandeur and splendour await Thee; Thy wedding wreath conceals an imperial crown. Let God shine His sun on Thee and Thy new country; then, from the tears now evoked by parting, a pearl will emerge!”
–Hans Christian Anderson on the departure of Princess Dagmar of Denmark for Russia, where she would marry the future Emperor Alexander III.
23.07.16 Its been two days too long since I uploaded a picture but because it’s the summer holidays I’m not doing any proper studying! This is a sneak peek to the stationery haul I’m doing next week! Coming up is a driving test masterpost as well! My mum and I have been cutting back some bushes at the front of my house and I want to put them in my flower press. Also, I bought this books of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales from a charity shop and it has “Christmas 1953” written on the inside.
Then Eliza went down the slope from the shore, and hid herself behind the bushes. The swans alighted quite close to her and flapped their great white wings. As soon as the sun had disappeared under the water, the feathers of the swans fell off, and eleven beautiful princes, Eliza’s brothers, stood near her. She uttered a loud cry, for, although they were very much changed, she knew them immediately.
Her tender feet felt as if they were pierced by daggers, but she did not feel it, for a sharper pain pierced her heart. She knew that this was the last evening that she ever would see him for whom she had forsaken her home and family, for whom she had sacrificed her lovely voice and suffered such constant torment of which he knew nothing. It was the last night that she would breathe the same air with him, or behold the same blue sea and starry sky. Instead an everlasting night without thoughts or dreams awaited, for she had no soul and now could never win one.
In a faraway kingdom, there lives a widowed King with his twelve children: eleven princes and one princess. One day, he decides to remarry. He marries a wicked queen who was a witch. Out of spite, the queen turns her eleven stepsons into swans and forces them to fly away. The queen then tries to bewitch their 15-year old sister Elisa, but Elisa’s goodness is too strong for this, so she has Elisa banished. The brothers carry Elisa to safety in a foreign land where she is out of harm’s way of her stepmother.
There, Elisa is guided by the queen of the fairies to gather nettles in graveyards; she knits these into shirts that will eventually help her brothers regain their human shapes. Elisa endures painfully blistered hands from nettle stings, and she must also take a vow of silence for the duration of her task, for speaking one word will kill her brothers. The king of another faraway land happens to come across the mute Elise and falls in love with her. He grants her a room in the castle where she continues her knitting. Eventually he proposes to crown her as his queen and wife, and she accepts.
However, the Archbishop is chagrined because he thinks Elisa is herself a witch, but the king will not believe him. One night Elisa runs out of nettles and is forced to collect more in a nearby church graveyard where the Archbishop is watching. He reports the incident to the king as proof of witchcraft. The statues of the saints shake their heads in protest, but the Archbishop misinterprets this sign as confirmation of Elisa’s guilt. The Archbishop orders to put Elisa on trial for witchcraft. She can speak no word in her defence and is sentenced to death by burning at the stake.
The brothers discover Elisa’s plight and try to speak to the king, but fail. Even as the tumbril bears Elisa away to execution, she continues knitting, determined to keep it up to the last moment of her life. This enrages the people, who are on the brink of snatching and destroying the shirts when the swans descend and rescue Elisa. The people (correctly) interpret this as a sign from Heaven that Elisa is innocent, but the executioner still makes ready for the burning. Then Elisa throws the shirts over the swans, and the brothers return to their human forms. The youngest brother retains one swan’s wing because Elise did not have time to finish the last sleeve. Elisa is now free to speak and tell the truth, but she faints from exhaustion, so her brothers explain. As they do so, the firewood around Elisa’s stake miraculously take root and burst into flowers. The king plucks the topmost flower and presents it to Elisa and they are married. (x)
The Sandman is a mythical character in Northern European folklore who brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of children while they sleep at night. He is said to sprinkle sand or dust on or into the eyes of the child at night to bring on dreams and sleep. The grit or “sleep” in one’s eyes upon waking is supposed to be the result of the Sandman’s work the previous evening.
Hans Christian Andersen’s 1841 folk tale Ole Lukøje recorded the Sandman, named Ole Lukøje, by relating dreams he gave to a young boy in a week through his magical technique of sprinkling dust in the eyes of the children. Andersen wrote:
There is nobody in the world who knows so many stories as Ole-Luk-Oie, or who can relate them so nicely. In the evening, while the children are seated at the table or in their little chairs, he comes up the stairs very softly, for he walks in his socks, then he opens the doors without the slightest noise, and throws a small quantity of very fine dust in their eyes, just enough to prevent them from keeping them open, and so they do not see him. Then he creeps behind them, and blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop. But Ole-Luk-Oie does not wish to hurt them, for he is very fond of children, and only wants them to be quiet that he may relate to them pretty stories, and they never are quiet until they are in bed and asleep. As soon as they are asleep, Ole-Luk-Oie seats himself upon the bed. He is nicely dressed; his coat is made of silken fabric; it is impossible to say of what color, for it changes from green to red, and from red to blue as he turns from side to side. Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night. But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the naughty children so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning without having dreams at all.