Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/144

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Cinderella and Britain.

Alexandre de Bernai's French metrical romance, De la belle Helayne de Constantinople,[1] the heroine is a daughter of Antony, Emperor of Constantinople, and it is a Henry of England whom she weds. A widely-spread German chap-book goes back to this romance (p. lii).

C. The father is a king of Hungary, the daughter comes to Scotland. Thus, the Roman de Manekine[2] one of the most popular of French thirteenth century romances, from which the fourteenth century French play, Un Miracle de Nostre Dame, seems derived (p. lix).

D. The story of St. Dipne (first met with in France at the end of the seventeenth century), daughter to a king of Ireland. In accordance with the hagiological nature of this story the heroine's fate is martyrdom and not wedlock (p. lxv).

So far the continental versions. I have not cited the forms from which the connection with Britain is absent, but these all seem to be later than and dependent upon the type-forms cited above.

On turning to stories written in England we are at once confronted with a remarkable counterpart[3] to the Victorial version in the Life of the second Offa by the thirteenth century Matthew Paris. This tells how a beautiful but evil Frankish princess, doomed to exposure on the sea, reaches England, is seen and beloved of the Angle king. Her explanation of her banishment is, it should be noted, that she was fleeing marriage with a suitor of lowly birth sought to be forced upon her. Otherwise, there is no hint in this story of the unnatural marriage incident, but this is found, in its orthodox form, in the same Matthew's Life of the first Offa, where the erring father is a king of York.[4]

  1. Pp. liii, lv.
  2. P. xlix.
  3. I use the word counterpart not as implying any literary filiation between the stories, but as applied solely to the way in which the incidents of the narrative are presented.
  4. Some very curious questions are raised by the Offa lives, questions