Tag Archives: Henry Ryland

M is for Mr. Fox


Henry Ryland’s “Mr. Fox” in the 1892 edition of Joseph Jacobs’ English Fairy Tales.

High school girls are surprised to hear traditional stories that include sexual violence, yet it is important for a girl to consider how Lady Mary’s boldness–or one’s own!–can overcome depraved evil. It is, in fact, the single most important attribute when it comes to safeguarding oneself.

In this tale, we also see a justifiably fearful Lady Mary hide herself when being bold would not pay off. Instead, she waits for the moment when her boldness will completely destroy Mr. Fox.

Take the tale’s advice: Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest thy heart’s blood run cold!


Be bold! Take hold of one of these books:

Jacobs, Joseph, English Fairy Tales. Everyman’s Library, 1993.

The Classic Fairy Tales, edited by Maria Tatar (Norton Critical Editions). W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Yolen, Jane, Favorite Folktales from Around the World (Pantheon Fairy Tale & folklore Library). Pantheon, 1988.