Edited by Mary Esther Miller MacGregor and Louey Chisholm Undine is a novel by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqu� concerning Undine, a water spirit who marries a Knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages. During the nineteenth century the book was very popular and was, according to The Times in 1843, "a book which, of all others, if you ask for it at a foreign library, you are sure to find engaged". The story, which has resemblences to The Little Mermaid by Andersen, is descended from Melusine, the French folk-tale of a water-sprite who marries a knight on condition that he shall never see her on Saturdays, when she resumes her mermaid shape. It was also inspired by a text of Paracelsus. An unabridged English edition of the story published in 1909 was illustrated by Arthur Rackham. George Macdonald thought Undine "the most beautiful" of all fairy stories, and the references to it in such works as Charlotte Yonge's The Daisy Chain and Louisa Alcott's Little Women show that it was one of the best loved of all books for many 19th-century children. -- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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December 15, 2009
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