DESCRIPTION: A king's daughter is forced to leave home. She hides her rich clothes and dresses in the skins of donkeys/cats. She takes service with a lord, and when he holds a ball, appears in her fine clothes. He seeks her and learns she is Catskin. They marry.
EARLIEST DATE: 1877 (Bell-Combined); as a folktale, it is clearly older
KEYWORDS: love courting disguise servant royalty trick clothes marriage incest
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Bell-Combined, pp. 335-342, "The Wandering Young Gentlewoman" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Katherine Briggs, _A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language_, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2), volume A.2, pp. 177-179, "CAtskin I: The Wandering Gentlewoman's Garland"; "Catskin II: The Princess and the Golden Cow" (2 prose versions, one of them summarized)
Maria Tatar, editor, _The Classic Fairy Tales_, A Norton Critical Edition, Norton, 1999, pp. 109-116, "Donkeyskin"; pp. 122-125, "Catskin" (2 prose versions, one of them a translation)
Maria Tatar, _The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales_, edited and with an Introduction by Maria Tatar, Norton, 2002, pp. 212-228, "Donkeyskin" (1 prose version, a translation from Perrault)
Jack Zipes, _The Great Fairy Tale Tradition_, a Norton Critical Edition, Norton, 2001, pp. 26-50, section on Incestuous Fathers, "Tebaldo," "The Bear, "Donkey-Skin," "All Fur" (4 prose versions, translations from Giovan Francesco Straparola, Giambattista Basile, Perrault, and the Grimms)
ST BeCo335 (Partial)
NOTES: I have no evidence that this was ever an actual song. But the tale of Catskin/Donkeyskin is a very common folktale, as the ADDITIONAL references indicate, so I've included it.
According to Jack Zipes, editor, The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales: The Western fairy tale tradition from medieval to modern, Oxford, 2000, p. 134, the tale was already popular when Charles Perrault created his "Donkey-skin" version; Zipes pushes its literary heritage back to Sraparola's "Doralice" ("Tebaldo") and Basile's "L'Orza." He also notes a twentieth century movie version featuring Catherine Deneuve. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.8
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.