Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty Review

Written By Eudora Welty

Fairy Tale, Adventure


Eudora Welty reassembles the traditional, rich ingredients of a fairy tale in an American setting to make an original fantasy.

Rosamond lives in the woods of Mississippi with her father, Clement, and her chilly, jealous stepmother, Salome.

Instructed to clean the house from top to bottom, she is worn out and dishevelled when she meets dashing bandit Jamie for the first time. From then on, her fate is sealed.


Published in 1942, The Robber Bridegroom is based on the tale of the same name by The Brothers Grimm.

Here Eudora Welty has created a gothic fairytale on a grand scale set in the deep South.

Managing to combine both real places and real people with creations from her vivid imagination, Welty has managed to bring a fast, vibrant and exciting tale that, while short, is a complete page turner. I for one couldn't wait to turn the next page to see what was next in store for the characters.

Talking of the characters, the line between real life people and fictional characters is so blurred in places that it's hard to see who existed and who didn't but believe me that's a good thing. They're so well rounded and expertly written that everybody just blends together to create a rich cast of memorable characters and situations.

I especially loved how Welty didn't make the bandit stereotypical.  He doesn't get everything right and he can be a complete a-hole at times yet you still end up rooting for him throughout the story.  That takes an author of massive talent to be able to do that and that's exactly what Eudora Welty was.

Amazingly this was her debut novel and she went on to write more but I've always had a major soft spot for this one and really rate it as her best novel by far. I honestly could read it then go straight back to the beginning and read it all over again.

 It is such a rich, well written and rip roaring story. There are so many nods to things such as 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' and there are quite a few moments in the story that seem like they may have inspired such books as 'The Princess Bride'. which ironically is another one of my favorites.

This is most definitely how fairy tales should be done.  Absolutely essential and deserves to be much better known than it is.

Story 4/5
Characters 5/5
Recommended 5/5
Overall 14/15

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a fantastic book. I just read the original Grimm fairy tales and was amazed how much different they were from "Disney". Fourteen out of Fifteen sounds just about perfect.