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Blog Tour: Guest Post by Chantal Gadoury: Allerleirauh

     Today's guest writer is Chantal Gadoury. She is the author of Allerleirauh, a retelling of the lesser known fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. In this guest post, she explores the history behind the Grimm's fairytale. I have a lifelong passion for fairytales, and I look forward to reviewing Allerleirauh soon! I hope this guest post gives you some insight into her fairytale retelling. Thank you, Mrs. Gadoury!


     There’s always a story behind a story, whether we as the readers know that or not. Behind every great fairy tale, there is a place where it made origin; an event or person that influenced the past cultures to create the stories that we all know and love today. Even the untold fairy tales, like “Allerleirauh,” have a place in origin. It’s hard to say, “Yes! This is exactly how this story came to be,” but it can give a general idea of how a story might have been created. 

     My name is Chantal, and I’m the author to a new “retelling” of an old Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tale: “Allerleirauh.” This is also known as “Donkeyskin,” “Catskin,” and “The King who wished to marry his Daughter.” In this fairy tale, there is a mad King who loses his wife, and promises her on her death bed to only remarry someone with her golden hair. In his search, the King discovers his maturing daughter who has the same exact golden hair. Now, before we can truly panic about the situation, the daughter does what she can to escape the arrangement by asking for dresses made of the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of a thousand furs. Needless to say, the King is successful in creating her requests, and the Princess is forced to flea her home. 

     As I was researching the fairy tale, trying to get more of the story – more of who the King, Princess and Prince were – I came across a piece of history that was linked to the story of “Allerleirauh”! 

     There was a girl named Dymphna who was born in Ireland in the 7th Century. Her father was the King of Oriel (Airgíalla) – an ancient part of Ireland that has since been renamed. When Dymphna was fourteen years old, she devoted herself to the Church and God and took upon a vow of chastity. During this time, Dymphna lost her mother to an unknown illness, and her father was devastated. It’s been report that his “health sharply deteriorated.” With any loss, (from personal experience) a part of you does deteriorate. And if you allow your grief to live through you, your mental stability would change. Needless to say, just as what happened to the Princess in the “Allerleirauh” story, the King begins to desire his daughter because of her resemblance to her mother. Can you imagine? 

     Dymphna fled the court and the Kingdom with Father Gerebernus, and a few servants. So the story changes a bit – where the daughter in the Fairy Tale tries to trick her father in requesting gifts that she is almost positive he’ll never be able to fulfill. Dymphna knew her danger was all too real, and left swiftly with a small support system around her. They eventually came to what is known now as present-day Belgium – in a town called “Geel.” 

     This is what I found that happened to her, when she reached the new shores: 
One tradition states that once settled in Geel, St. Dymphna built a hospice for the poor and sick of the region. However, it was through the use of her wealth that her father would eventually ascertain her whereabouts, as some of the coins used enabled her father to trace them to Belgium.[2] Damon sent his agents to pursue his daughter and her companions. When their hiding place was discovered, Damon travelled to Geel to recover his daughter. Damon ordered his soldiers to kill Father Gerebernus and tried to force Dymphna to return with him to Ireland, but she resisted. Furious, Damon drew his sword and struck off his daughter's head.”  

     It’s truly a different ending to the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tale (and to mine) – in which we provide the Princess with a happy ending of a new future with her Prince. Though, I suppose believers of the church could say that Dymphna also met a happy ending in going to heaven and being with God – the King of all Kings. 

     Because of her religious importance in the church, Dymphna is a saint. 

     “The remains of Saint Dymphna were later put into a silver reliquary and placed in a church in Geel named in her honour. The remains of Saint Gerebernus were moved to Xanten, Germany. [4] During the late 15th century the original St. Dymphna Church in Geel burned down. A second "Church of St. Dymphna" was then built and consecrated in 1532. The church still stands on the site where her body is believed to have first been buried.

     According to tradition, miracles occurred immediately after her tomb was discovered. A number of people with epilepsy, mental illness or to have been 'under evil influence' who visited the tomb of Dymphna were said to have been cured. The saint is invoked as patroness against mental illness. St. Dymphna's feast day is 15 May.

     Saint Dymphna is known as the Lily of Éire, due to her spotless virtue. She is traditionally portrayed wearing a crown, dressed in ermine and royal robes, and holding a sword. In modern versions she holds the sword awkwardly, as it symbolizes her martyrdom, but in the older versions seen on numerous statues and stained glass images, her sword is pricking the neck of a demon; symbolizing her title of Demon Slayer. She is also often portrayed holding a lamp, with the chained devil at her feet. 
Some modern holy cards portray Dymphna in green and white, holding a book and white lilies.”

     Being an advocate for women and our rights, I think it’s really important to talk about the history of such an important story – important because of the message it provides. Just because you might have endured sexual assult; family incest – etc. – it does not mean that you don’t deserve happiness. It doesn’t mean that anyone ever has the right to take away your joy or pride. You are more than what has happened to you. Only you have the power to allow something to define you. And. . . take the steps to do what you need to do for yourself, to be happy; in what you believe in. Dymphna did not allow her father’s desires to control her life; she left and did something amazing in helping the town and the church of Geel. 
And with that said, I hope you all take the chance in reading “Allerleirauh” for yourself and discover something in yourself, for yourself. 

All information gathered from [


by Chantal Gadoury

Genre:  YA Fantasy / Fairy Tale / Romance
Self Published © Chantal Gadoury
Date of Publication:  December 21st 2015
ISBN: 1522880801 
ISBN-13: 978-1522880806
Number of pages:  232
Word Count: 54,551
Cover Artist: Chantal Gadoury
Photography:  Ivan Bliznetsov

Book Description:

Once Upon a Time…

In the Kingdom of Tränen, a King makes a promise to his dying wife to only remarry someone who has her golden hair. With time, the King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of a thousand furs. When Aurelia discovers his success, she knows she must run away from her privileged life and escapes the kingdom disguised by the cloak and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.”

Aurelia enters the safe haven of the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht, where she is taken under the care of the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus. Hoping to not be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Aurelia tries to remain hidden under her new false identity.  Unexpected love is found between Aurelia and Prince Klaus and is challenged with an approaching arranged marriage between the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht and a neighboring ruler. With the possibility of discovery hanging in the air, Aurelia must face the difficulties of her past with her father in her journey of self-discovery before the Prince and his entire Kingdom learns the truth of her real identity, and she looses him forever.

Book Trailer:

Available at Amazon, BN, Kobo, Createspace  



     “If you ever decide to remarry, you must marry someone who is as beautiful as I and has my golden hair.” The words seemed to echo all around the darkened, red room as my dying mother whispered them. Candles were lit all across the room, creating a gloomy and death-like atmosphere around us as they flickered against the stone walls; the only solace of light were the flames, curling out from the fireplace.  My mother’s hair, like spools of golden thread, lay against her forehead, clinging to her dying, pale skin as she lifted her hand, reaching out to my Father for his answer. My mother, the Queen, was dying in her bed with my weeping father on bended knee, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles and the corner of her lips.

     “My wife…” His words were soft and full of a clouded grief I knew I didn’t understand. My father and mother were hardly ever affectionate behind closed doors. I often saw them together in the throne room, together in my father’s den, but never close; never touching. His loss of her was a mystery to me. 

     “Promise me,” she hissed at him, her breathing was growing faint as she shifted and grunted, trying to look at him more closely. Perhaps it was her only solace that her husband, my father, would never truly love anyone after her. Perhaps she hoped a new wife would only be a constant reminder of his first. 

     I stood in the background, watching the scene between my mother and father, clinging to the thick red bed drapes, my own golden curls tied back with a black ribbon. I had been pulled from my tutoring lesson with Mousier Rayner, learning French from the brittle books of my father’s library and had dressed for the occasion of my mother’s death in a simple black dress. I hadn’t known how to feel as the black silk brushed against my skin. I felt almost as if we were being paraded into her room to watch her die like an animal. Was this how life truly was? 

     We were born, lived the life God granted us, and then, just as quickly, our flame dulls until it becomes a wisp of smoke in a darkened room and we’re gone. As the servants and house-hold hands guided me into the room, I stood frozen in the back. It was often said by the Courtiers I looked much like my mother; I had the same golden hair and the same blue eyes. I wondered now how true it really was. Did I truly? 

     I felt fear as her last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s shoulder. Everyone in the Kingdom knew the King did not have a male heir, and in turn, would need one to carry on the Royal Line. Who would be next? I could see eyes staring at me; I was my Mother’s reflection: my Mother’s legacy. I felt a cold shiver run up my spine as I heard my father reply, “I promise.” 

About the Author:

     Chantal Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true! Visit her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Amazon Author Central.

Also, check out my review of Chantal Gadoury's novel:



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