THE DRAC: French Tales of Dragons and Demons by Felice & Nanine Valen Holman

THE DRAC: French Tales of Dragons and Demons

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The authors have gone Perrault one better in their polishing and shaping of French folk material in these five stories derived from a variety, and several centuries' range, of sources. Motifs are familiar--a young mother under a spell spends seven years underwater nursing a dragon's child, a greedy carpenter tries in vain to outwit the devil, a skeptical young man is led astray by the ""evil weed"" or lady of the moor--but the telling is literate and sophisticated. We could do without the pious tale of a beast subdued by faith when spears and catapults had failed, and we personally prefer a simpler, more direct treatment of traditional lore. However, there is eminent precedent for Holman and Valen's approach, their storytelling expertise is beyond question, and--most admirably--each tale is followed by a scrupulous but readable note on its origins and permutations. Elegant enchantment.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1975
Page count: 84pp
Publisher: Scribners