Pygmalion. 2009-10. Helene Knoop. Norwegian 1879 - oil /canvas.
Okay y’all listen up
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is seriously one of my favorite book series and let me tell you why.
The books are about a princess whose parents are super overbearing and try to force her into doing only ‘princessly’ things, so she basically says “Screw this noise” and runs away to find a dragon to live with. That’s right, she SEEKS OUT A DRAGON TO BE HER ROOMMATE.
She finds this dragon and she’s like “yo dawg can i live in this cave with you i can like organize your library and be your servant and cook you some cherries jubilee and whatever” and the dragon was like “yea das cool I like cherries jubilee.” So the princess lives with the dragon and begins learning to do stuff she /actually/ wants to do like fencing and magic, and any time a prince comes to try and save her she just pulls out some elegantly killer attitude and tells him kindly to fuck off. She puts up signs all over the cave telling them to just go away and tries to sabotage the only path leading to the cave to deter them from trying to ‘save’ her.
The dragon is a female named Kazul and she is super rad and knowledgeable and fierce. She encourages Cimorene, the princess, to learn whatever she wants. Also there was this one time in the second book where the dragons needed a new king so they held this contest to see who was fit for the position, and females were totally allowed to participate. It is clearly explained in the series that if a female wins then she will still be the king since THEY DON’T NEED GENDER SPECIFIC TITLES BECAUSE IT’S SILLY TO HAVE TWO NAMES FOR THE SAME JOB!
Reading this as a child and growing up with it was very important to me. It taught me that womanhood does not make me weak. It taught me that I don’t need a man to complete my life. It taught me a lot of things that really, no one bothers to tell little girls.
There’s also witches that talk to their cats and hella magic and crazy magicians and fairies and elves and giants and a lot of the story is just this team of kickass magic ladies fighting wizards and saving enchanted places and such, so even if you don’t care for the feminist qualities it’s still a really fun series to read!
The good folks at Dorothy labored over a tremendous “Book Map” depicting the settings of some 600 literary works based in London. The books, poems, and essays selected for the map run the gamut from T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.