“As you wish…”
We here at Cabinet des Fées are extremely pleased to announce the release of As You Wish: The Loathly Lady, being issue 1 of the first volume of Scheherezade’s Bequest in print (and digital editions). As You Wish gathers together fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in an exploration of what it is women (and men) truly want. We chose the theme of the Loathly Lady for this issue in order to challenge modern perceptions of beauty and to explore the notion of sovereignty. Authors responded to our call for submissions with a diverse array of stories, poems, and academic insights into the Loathly Lady trope. Their answers to our questions may surprise you. Edited by Donna Quattrone and Virginia M. Mohlere, this issue includes interior artwork by acclaimed photographer Brooke Shaden and Kirsty Greenwood, and cover art by Rima Staines. 128 pages of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction await you inside.
Co-editor Donna Quattrone writes in her introduction,
It is not surprising that fairy tales and folktales are also referred to as “wonder” tales.
If you think about the things that inspire us to exclaim, “that is wonderful,” they often entail something that we discover randomly or unexpectedly, something that turns out to be a beautiful surprise or a memorable “wow” moment. We wonder about things because they captivate our senses or ignite our imagination. Wonder is the spark that jolts us out of complacency; it prompts an awareness of something “other,” something more, it hints at myriad possibilities. Wonder, then, has the remarkable capacity to encourage a different way of viewing the world; it tosses us outside the box of normal perception, it leads us above and beyond the mundane and into the marvelous. It can, if we let it, foster transformation. And it is exactly this kind of exploratory dance of wonder that is paramount in the tale of the Loathly Lady.
Throughout oral and written history, the Loathly Lady has had multiple incarnations. It’s likely that many of you know her from Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” which is framed around the question of “What is it that women really want?” The narrative challenges societal expectations of beauty and also addresses notions of equality, autonomy, perception and love. As all of these issues are equally relevant today, it is no wonder that the Loathly Lady’s tale endures…
The title of this volume was gleaned from a modern source: In The Princess Bride, Dread Pirate Roberts’ oft-repeated words to his dear Buttercup perfectly embody the idea of sovereignty. The themes in the Loathly Lady’s tale are indeed timeless, and it has been a great pleasure to revisit them here. I believe our authors have done a brilliant job of taking them to new and exciting places, places where prescribed ideals regarding image are re-imagined, where individuality is revered, and where happily-ever-after is as unique as the souls that are brave enough to seek it out. I suspect the famous old crone would approve, and it is in the spirit of The Loathly Lady that I present these tales of transformation to you. I hope you find them as wonderful as I do!
Would you kiss the loathly lady? We did and this is what we found. Read more about this issue here.
As You Wish: The Loathly Lady Issue
Scheherezade’s Bequest Vol. 1 Issue 1
A Cabinet des Fées Production
Eds. Donna Quattrone & Virginia M. Mohlere
Published by Papaveria Press
ISBN 978 1 907881 34 3 (Paperback)
ISBN 978 1 907881 36 7 (Digital)
128 pages, full colour.