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'Step-', as in stepparents or stepchildren, originated in grief. Family structures have evolved, but are stepmothers now so tainted by fairytale associations with the word 'wicked' that we need new terminology? Lore's Aaron Mahnke stops by to describe the lovelessness, literary tropes and life expectancy around 'step-'.
- Diagnose yourself with novercaphobia, if you must.
- But according to Neil Gaiman, in early versions of many of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, the evil stepmothers were actually evil bilogical mothers...
- Here's information about the study Aaron mentioned about 'The Cinderella Effect' upon stepchild mortality; there are some curious findings.
- Read about the ancient prototypes for Cinderella, and then some analysis of some of the newer spins on the tale.
- Or perhaps you'd prefer an annotated version of Hansel and Gretel, plus a load of different illustrators' takes on it.
- Have you seen the film Wicked Stepmother? No, nor have I. It is distinguished by being Bette Davis's final film, and seems to average around two stars out of five from what I've read about it.
- The transcript of this episode is here.
On Tuesday 4th August 2015 at 8pm UK time, 3pm ET, 12pm PT, I'll be doing a live discussion about this episode at spoken.am. Please come along to tell me what you think, divulge about your own steprelatives, and to ask me anything about the show.
Go to spoken.am to request your invite* and I'll see you there, yes? (Or you can catch up afterwards, if you must.)
UPDATE: Now that we are living in the post-live chat era, you can catch up at spoken.am/allusionist/step-away
*My school English teacher used to HATE people using 'invite' as a noun. I feel both guilty and slyly delighted to have done so just now.
This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh, who'll deliver fresh, healthy meal kits to your door. And they've got very tasty special offers for you Allusionist listeners in the USA if you visit hellofresh.com/allusion.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Aaron Mahnke hosts Lore podcast, about scary stories and folklore. Visit lorepodcast.com, and find more of Aaron's work including his books at aaronmahnke.com.
- Big sloppy thanks are served to all the listeners who answered my plea and kindly contributed their thoughts about step-terms.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. All the music is by Martin Austwick. Hear and/or download more - WITH LYRICS! - at thesoundoftheladies.bandcamp.com.
- Say hello to me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.