The Impossible Enchantment

by Comte de Caylus
adapted by Brian Stableford

cover by Mike Hoffman

The mermen had no doubt that with the stones and oysters they could soon shatter the glass chariot. But the fay Paisible took from her pocket an ardent mirror, which she always carried with her and placed it in such a manner that it heated up her enemies...
US$32.95/GBP 22.99
5x8 tpb, 444 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-61227-809-4
The Comte de Caylus was one of the major writers of the “second wave” of fairy tales produced in the 1730s and 1740s, when the publication of unlicensed works became far too abundant for effective suppression by the authorities.
He displayed a flair for the bizarre that continually edged into the surreal, and never entirely forsook the spirit of parody in which he had commenced. His tales expand on the notion that the fays have a council which regulates their activity and Faerie comes to refer to the polity of the fays, a kind of parallel world in which fays and other supernatural beings live.
His collection of tales set in a land where faerie has determined the people must change sex every year on their birthday also aspires to the status of a conte philosophique. The real strength of his longer stories lies in their many phantasmagorical elements.
No other writer of fairy tales gives the impression of dabbling in the genre purely for fun, even if Caylus does take time out to add a literary flourish, make a shrewd observation, or insert a serious argument. Because of that, in spite of its literary flaws, Caylus’ work remains very entertaining. 

Fééries Nouvelles (1741-1745)
Prince Courtebotte and Princess Zibeline
Prince Muguet and Princess Zaza
Tourlou and Rirette
The Yellow Bird
Princess Pimprenelle and Prince Romarin
The Gifts
Nonchalante and Papillon
The Palace of Ideas
Princess Luminous
Bleuette and Coquelicot
The Impossible Enchantment
Princess Minutie and King Floridor
The Prince of Hearts and Princess Grenadine
Princess Azerolle
Fleurette and Abricot: A Frame Story
The Mangy Wolf
Bellinette; or, The Young Old Woman
Author’s Preface to Cadichon & Jeanette
Cadichon; or, Everything Works Out for Him Who Waits
Jeannette; or, Indiscretion
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.