Monday, May 2, 2011

Literary Idol Challenge: Princess Tales

When I was a little girl my favorite book in the whole wide worlds was A LITTLE PRINCESS by Francess Hodgson Burnett.If you don't already know the story Sarah Crewe is a wealthy, popular school girl who is kind and imaginative until her father dies and leaves her penniless. The Headmistress of her boarding school, Miss Mention, lets her live in the attic as a maid. Even with hardly enough to eat, no more silks and dolls, and strenuous exhausting work she remains kind and hopeful, whispering stories to the other servant girl to make the cold and hunger more bearable. Sarah is eventually restored to her former wealth much to the chagrin of Miss Mention but that is not the point. Sarah was always a princess whether her circumstances expressed it or not.

Due to the recent nuptials of a certain royal couples there has been a lot of talk this last week about princesses. Does royalty only belong to a long forgotten age? Should we allow our daughters to romanticize the unrealistic concept of being a princess?

If their concept of "princess" is limited to pretty dresses and hansom princes then I agree with the feminists. Absolutely not. But when I think of princesses I always think of Sarah Crewe's stunning imagination and knowledge of her own worth despite what anybody eles tells her. I was eight years old when I first read A LITTLE PRINCESS but I can still remember a long night time ride in the back of a van with a window that wouldn't close. I thought of Sarah's imagination and pretended that I was in a carriage full of soft fur blankets and warm chocolate to drink while I waited to get home to rest. I can still remember the dark tunnel at the natural history museum that I was afraid to enter until I decided to think of it as the diamond mines Sarah's father finds. Sarah Crewe's story taught me to imagine. It taught me to believe. I don't know if I could have survived childhood without it.

So this month's Liteary Idol Challenge (no I didn't forget. Just waxing nostalgic for a minute there) is to write a princess story or fairy tale 50-1,000 words. What is your take on royalty and princesses? The symbolism? The reality? send your interpretation of it all to me at:

by Sunday, May 22nd and I will post it to be voted on Monday May 23rd.


  1. there's more to being a true princess than party dresses and charity, I think...which gives me an idea...


  2. Aww, I never read the book (shame on me) but I did love the movie :)