Little Snow White

The Brothers Grimm story of Little Snow White and Tanith Lee’s Red as Blood tell two different tales of the same girl. In the Brothers Grimm version, Snow White is only 7 years old. The evil queen is her mother, not her stepmother. The queen asks the mirror who is the fairest one of all, receiving the answer that it is not her but Snow White, tries to kill Snow White three separate times. Snow White eats the poisoned apple, and is taken away by the Prince to his castle where she lies dead, until a servant knocks the apple out of her mouth. She comes alive and is quickly married off to the prince.

Tanith Lee tells a much longer and in depth story of Snow White. She is named Bianca, and is fourteen years old. The “Witch Queen” is her stepmother. The queen summons Satan to turn her into an ugly old hag. The queen convinces her to eat the apple, and she dies. The seven dwarves are trees which hang over Bianca’s coffin for years. The Prince sees her, but the trees try to protect her, jostling her coffin and dislodging the apple from her throat. She comes back alive, but is seven years old. The mirror once again says Bianca is the fairest in the land.

There are a few major differences between the two stories. Tanith Lee’s Snow White has a name, Bianca. The Brothers Grimm age Snow White at 7, while Bianca is 14 for most of the story. The evil Queen has to dance herself to death in the Brothers Grimm tale, but we don’t know the fate of the Witch Queen at the end of Red as Blood. I liked the addition of dialogue to Tanith Lee’s version, but I didn’t particularly like that the dwarves were trees.

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