White as Milk, Red as Blood
This striking, richly illustrated edition of long-lost German fairy tales is not a book for children. It is a book for adults. Or for adults to frighten children into behaving…whichever you prefer.
In 2009, a trove of lost fairy tales collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth–a 19th-century collector of Bavarian folk tales and contemporary of the Brothers Grimm–was unearthed in a municipal archive in Germany. Unlike the Grimms, who polished the stories they collected, adapting to contemporary tastes, von Schönwerth recorded the stories as they were told, plucking them directly from the living, breathing tree of oral storytelling, retaining their darker themes and sometimes shocking violence. Von Schönwerth published a single volume of these tales in his lifetime, but the vast majority languished and were forgotten over the years, effectively frozen in time until their recent rediscovery.
Now, award-winning illustrator Willow Dawson, in collaboration with translator Shelley Tanaka, has brought these long-lost tales unforgettably to life, illuminating with striking woodcut-style illustrations a spectacular collection that will change the way you look at fairy tales forever. Paired with Dawson’s arresting artwork, the stories in White as Milk, Red as Blood race with palpable energy through fantasy landscapes darker, bawdier and racier than anything we find in Disney or the Grimms.
Following the tradition of illustrated fairy-tale collections, White as Milk, Red as Blood is the very first fully illustrated, full-colour edition of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth’s work. It is a timeless tome of enchantment and foreboding: tales–as haunting as they are profound–of powerful princesses, helpless men, lecherous villains, virtuous girls, witches, giants, at least one female serial killer, mer-people, shape-shifters and talking beasts–a kaleidoscope of wonders both familiar and entirely new; rich and strange.
Dawson and Tanaka’s dark and lively take on von Schönwerth’s collected tales will appeal to fans of Mike Mignola’s classic fantasy comic-book series Hellboy.