Read The Rose and the Ring by William Makepeace Thackeray Online


Between the kingdoms of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, there lived a mysterious personage, who was known in those countries as the Fairy Blackstick, from the ebony wand or crutch which she carried; on which she rode to the moon sometimes, or upon other excursions of business or pleasure, and with which she performed her wonders. When she was young, and had been first taughtBetween the kingdoms of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, there lived a mysterious personage, who was known in those countries as the Fairy Blackstick, from the ebony wand or crutch which she carried; on which she rode to the moon sometimes, or upon other excursions of business or pleasure, and with which she performed her wonders. When she was young, and had been first taught the art of conjuring by the necromancer, her father, she was always practicing her skill, whizzing about from one kingdom to another upon her black stick, and conferring her fairy favors upon this Prince or that....

Title : The Rose and the Ring
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781421933115
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 204 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rose and the Ring Reviews

  • Althea Ann
    2019-04-08 15:22

    According to the author's introduction, this was intended to be put on as a dramatic presentation, or pantomime, at Christmastime, for children.It was indeed published at Christmas (1854), but I'm not at all convinced that the main intended audience was children. This is, technically, a fairy tale, but it's mainly a political and social satire, caricaturing the events and personalities of the day. I'm quite certain that quite a lot of the humor flew past me, but it seems that it was quite timely.The titular rose and ring are magical objects that makes the bearer seem irresistibly beautiful to those around them. They originate with the Fairy Blackstick, who is quite unpopular after wishing some infants 'misfortune' at their christenings, rather than magical blessings. However, sometimes a bit of misfortune is good for the character.The plot is a rather slapstick romantic comedy, with quite a lot of lampooning of the upper crust. It's entertaining - but was probably even funnier 150 years ago.

  • Grace
    2019-03-21 20:08

    Hilarious biting satire about monarchies, heroes, heroines and Victorian mores, all in a faux-fairytale wrapper with illustrations and footnotes on each page, that when read in succession, make a poem describing the story's events.I LOVE my 1934 Macmillan & Co edition with its red hardback cover embossed with Mr Gruffanuff as a doorknocker.

  • Janelle
    2019-04-12 16:16

    I've given this four stars based on its potential, which I missed out on due to listening to the Librivox audiobook instead of reading the text with illustrations. I would love to find an illustrated hardcopy one day. It's the sort of book that begs to be presented as a glossy hardcover. I enjoyed all the nonsense of this story, and wish that I had a better understanding of the times in which it was written. And I'd love to have some children to read it to (mine are sadly all grown up). This actually says a lot about the book, as I'm not a fan of fairy tales. But this was too much fun to resist.

  • Perry Whitford
    2019-04-05 12:14

    Written initially by Thackeray as a 'fireside pantomime' in order to entertain some children while he was holidaying in Rome during the Christmas of 1854, 'The Rose and the Ring' is a mock fairy tale of misplaced heirs, malignant tyrants and magical amulets - an affable ancestor to the likes of The Princess Bride and Stardust. if you will.The fictional and very ancient (the story is set 'ten or twenty thousand years ago'!) kingdoms of Paflagonia and Crim Tartary, always at war, have both been usurped by illegitimate monarchs, but an opportunity to unite the crowns presents itself when the (seemingly) valiant Prince Bulbo comes to visit the (seemingly) talented Princess Angelica.So what of the legitimate monarchs? Well, Prince Giglio, a good but unambitious lad, had the crown of Paflagonia taken from him when young by his uncle Valoroso XXIV, and now languishes at court.Princess Rosalba was last seen as a child, wondering into a lion-infested forest after Duke Padella overthrew her father. She somehow made it to Paflogonia, became the maid to Princess Angelica, and has been renamed Betsinda.Got that?It's a classic muddle, one only enhanced by the rose and ring of the title, magical charms once furnished by a witch named Fairy Blackstick, which render the wearers irresistible. It was Blackstick who caused the mix-ups in the first place, cursing the heirs to suffer 'a little misfortune' after a fit of pique with their parents. This is a mere trifle for Thackeray, but a fun and timeless one, with some excellent comedic ideas, such as an abusive porter who gets turned into a door knocker! It does run out of steam a little near the end though.

  • Laura
    2019-04-13 14:56

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra:Unable to find any Christmas entertainment, Thackeray invents his own fireside pantomime - a story of kings, princesses, lions and battles. Stars Prunella Scales and Maureen Lipman.

  • Stella
    2019-03-28 20:02

    loved it...still do! :)

  • Amy
    2019-04-21 16:06

    A ridiculous, enchanting parody of a fairy tale that I really quite enjoyed. It was silly but charming and overall a good, humerous read for the fairy-tale lover.

  • Lynne
    2019-04-21 15:20

    This is a novelette and it's very funny. I read it when in 8th grade first, then later as an adult. Thackeray at his most playful. Tons of fun.

  • Michele
    2019-04-04 19:21

    weird little library sale treasure. political and fairy tale satire by Thackeray. parts of it were good but I felt like even the "heroes" didn't really deserve the happy endings they got.

  • Robby Charters
    2019-03-24 15:06

    I first read this when I was about 9 or 10. Many of the images have stuck with me, and have influenced some of my own writing. To find it again, I did a search, and was rewarded by a few electronic editions that were downloadable for free -- however, without the illustrations. This particular book loses a lot if it doesn't include illustrations. The very first line reads, "This is Valoroso XXIV., King of Paflagonia, seated with his queen and only child at their royal breakfast-table..." In the accompanying illustration we see the king reading the letter alluded to in the second half of the opening line, with the plump queen and the teen-age daughter. Before the queen are a whole dozen eggs in their egg cups.Thackeray's first choice of a career, BTW, was that of an illustrator. It was because he was turned down by Charles Dickens to illustrate his book "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club", that he embarked on his second choice, that of a writer. He still did a lot of his own illustrations, as he did for The Rose and the Ring.Another unforgatable illustration is that of the governess, Countess Gruffanuff. If your edition, like this one, doesn't contain illustrations you can at least make do with some of the names Thakeray chooses for his characters, like Prime Minister Glumboso, Count Hogginarmo (there's an illustration of him booting a couple of servants down the garden stairs), the Captain of the Guards Count Kutasoff Hedzoff, not to forget the country name, Krim Tartary. If you do want the illustrations, then for a minimum financial outlay, you could download the Delphi Complete Works of W. M. ThackerayDelphi Complete Works of W. M. Thackeray (Illustrated).Another character I must mention is Fairy Blackstick. For the last few thousand years of blessing young royals and granting wishes, she realises she has only produced spoiled brats. To King Salvo's queen (who then reigned over Paflagonia), she had given a ring, and to Duke Padella's wife (of the Kingdom of Krim Tartary) a rose. Both gifts had a magical property of rendering the wearer charming and desirable. However, it only turned the two ladies "capricious, lazy, ill-humoured, absurdly vain..." etc. So finally, she changed tack. On her next two invitations to attend as the fairy god-mother, she simply approached the cradle and said, "My poor child, the best thing I can send you is a little misfortune." After that, people stopped inviting her. But the babies didn't become spoiled brats.The two who were blessed with "misfortune" were Prince Giglio of Paflagonia, and Princess Rosalba of Krim Tartary. Giglio's father, King Salvo died shortly afterwards, leaving his brother, Valoroso as Lord Regent. Instead, Valoroso had himself crowned king. Orphaned Giglo went on living in the palace, though he had inherited his mother's ring.Princess Rosalba, as a toddler, disappeared into the forest about the same time as Duke Padella staged his revolution and grabbed the crown of Krim Tartary for himself. Rosalba was taken care of by a lionness as one of her own, with a lion cub for a brother. Meanwhile, the son of the new king, Prince Bulbo, inherited his mother's rose. As the title of the story indicates, the rose and the ring are significant.The main character of the story is Giglio, and the heroine, of course, Rosalba. Fairy Blackstick, though no longer the life of the party, still gives things a push in the right direction, and the result is a pleasing story with a most satisfactory ending. It's brilliant fantasy -- long before the likes of C.S.Lewis and Tolkien.Thackary proves himself the master of humour and satire. I already mentioned the the way he names his characters. If you like that sort of thing, I plan to do a review of Vanity Fair at a later time.

  • Oksana
    2019-04-09 15:56

    Ok, being 22 I made up my mind to read a children's book. Considering the vocabulary, I could as well have been 122 instead and would've understood the writing better.The plot and magical attributes - the rose, the ring and the fairy - all seem quite banal (but maybe they weren't so when the book was written; all these time dimensions make it hard for me to be objective).What makes The Rose and the Ring special - at least in my eyes - is the form, or even the layout. Thackeray's illustrations create a wonderful atmosphere of presence. The gap between my imagination and his is immense - the author uglified the characters hilariously.In the middle of reading this prosaic tale, it struck me: in patches it wasn't prose at all! Out of the blue characters can utter verses, and then go on mumbling in prose.Short rhyming lines on top of each page and italized phrases add a finishing touch to the story, also drawing attention to what's important (most of the times funny as well).By the way, I thought Giglio was called so because he giggled, but Wikipedia claims that it comes from Italian and means lily... Not so exciting.All in all, I devoured the book quickly and found it delicious!

  • Lobo
    2019-04-02 14:25

    A Rózsa és a gyűrűben az a zseniális, hogy amikor kislányként olvastam, maga a történet nyűgözött le, felnőttként pedig a könnyedén adagolt irónia. Tündérmese-regény, kicsit másképp, mint megszoktuk, ugyanakkor megvan benne a délceg királyfi és a neki rendelt hányattatott sorsú királylány, de az egész teljesen felrázva és megkeverve. Mert főhőseink keresztanyja egy renegát tündér, aki ahelyett, hogy valami olyan tulajdonsággal ruházná fel őket, amellyel lazán végiglavíroznák az életüket, csupán azt mondja a keresztelőknél, hogy a legjobb, amit a gyereknek kívánhat „egy csipetnyi balszerencse”. Ezért aztán a két főhősnek mindenféle nehézségeket kell legyűrnie ahhoz, hogy elérjék a maguk kis boldogságát. Persze közben vannak buta, hiú királyok, értelmetlen háborúk, gonoszkodó kisasszonyok, vadállatok. Részletesen:

  • K.
    2019-03-24 15:17

    It would have been fun to be a child who got to listen to Thackeray's fireside tales! I've been wanting to get my hands on this book for years, thank you paperbackswap!! Delightful little satirical "fairy tale" that I think I'll be reading to my children sometime in the near future. This copy (perhaps all of them?) has illustrations by Thackeray himself, which I find so fun--especially when he says things like "...and it looked just like this..." above one of his drawings. I just think that adds so much to the story--not to mention that his drawings are delightful. My 3yo was intrigued with them as I tried to read last night while he "tried" to go to sleep. Not sure if this is one for every palate (it doesn't read like a variation on a Sleeping Beauty or anything), but already being a big Thackeray fan, I loved it.

  • Tyler
    2019-03-27 12:08

    This book is a Renaissance fairy tale written by an author who lived in the Victorian era. I would place this story up with Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz. It is well-written, completely clean, and suitable for all who can read. The plot consists of a prince who has lost his kingdom to his uncle, a maid taken into the castle, a spoiled princess, a well-meaning fairy, an ugly prince, a horrid old hag, and a rose and a ring, both of which are enchanted to make the owners of them extraordinarily beautiful to members of the opposite gender. All these things come together in a delightful tale.

  • Liss Capello
    2019-03-23 14:05

    I do love some cynical Thackeray satire, and nobody does it quite like him. This story is written for children as a holiday-time pageant (probably complete with puppets), so it's simple and has a happy ending with a morally-sound conclusion, but it is full of clever commentary and portraiture for the characters. And they are dreadfully funny characters. I enjoyed the lions, and the fairy Blackstick who has to put up with so much nonsense, and the way the final chapter echoed the Merchant of Venice on a somewhat more child-friendly level. I'd love for my kids to be entertained through Twelfth Night with fare such as this!

  • Lynne
    2019-04-20 19:11

    Favourite childhood read, and thanks to a Radio 4 Extra broadcast, a delightful rediscovery. Absolutely barmy, cod Italianate name, silly magic and memories of Kenneth Williams reading this in his glorious camp nasal pomp have made this a very happy experience all over again. It's just a shame that the Amazon edition that arrived appeared to be little more than a computer print out cobbled together with a pre-Raph postcard. What it lacked in appearance, was, thankfully more than made up for by the wonderful content. Victoriana at its silly finest.

  • Tara
    2019-04-17 12:10

    Oh my, what a fun read. It's a satirical fairy tale, and I recommend it to any of my friends that love a good fairy tale. It is also hilarious, just the names alone will have you chuckling, and there's some a good moral in what it takes to build good character. I reserve 5 star ratings for books I would read more than once, and this was such a quick, easy read, I would definitely give it another go. I don't think I'm finished with Thackeray yet.

  • Krisette Spangler
    2019-04-13 18:07

    I absolutely loved this darling fairy tale. It was hard to believe the author of Vanity Fair was able to write a story like this. If you like James Thurber's children's tales, I think you'll really enjoy this.It's difficult to find a copy of this story anymore. You can read it online at the Gutenberg project, or you can download it for free on your kindle or pc at Amazon.

  • Helen Farrell
    2019-04-04 20:26

    Hilarious. I loved this as a child - something that pleased my mother greatly, as she was able to say, when I was ten years old, that I was reading Thackeray. She never let on about the title.The characters are outrageous stereotypes of the worst in human nature - calling to mind the more thoughtful depictions of the same people in Vanity Fair.

  • Rosita
    2019-04-19 17:21

    I read this back to back with The Book of Snobs and what a big difference it was! The Rose and the Ring was concise and absolutely fun to read! Unfortunately the copy I have is missing the illustrations (I only realized what I missed from the other reviews) =(

  • Lora
    2019-04-12 13:07

    I couldn't finish Vanity Fair and I couldn't finish this. The satire was too carefully spelled out, the fairy tale aspects just reminded me of how many fairy tales I've read, and the characters couldn't keep my attention. I'm glad he's out there for other people, but dang. I give up on Thackeray.

  • Leslie
    2019-04-12 15:05

    This story is silly and unexpected, but also satirical and wise. And it has great illustrations. A perfect bit of holiday magic. As a kid, I found an old paperback of this story on my bookshelves (apparently discarded by my sister) and have loved it ever since.

  • Hannah
    2019-04-07 19:03

    Thackeray at his best. Funny, cute, and not too long, with some good insights into character now and then, and fancy illustrations from the author himself.

  • Sani
    2019-04-07 13:25

    amazing satire... amazing book, it's been along time since I read such thing though it was intended for my kids but I enjoyed more and more

  • Jonathan Towne
    2019-04-01 20:25

    Best read out loud. If you have children, be sure to do voices. Thackeray's illustrations are a stitch.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-10 16:26

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  • Lucille
    2019-03-21 19:01

    The drawings are so Victorian and yet so funny and the story is hilarious.

  • Jane
    2019-04-17 12:09

    Thackeray at his lightest and most amusing. Along with Dickens' Magic Fishbone and MacDonald's Light Princess, this is the height of Victorianchildren's fairy tales.

  • Estance Moriarty
    2019-03-24 20:18

    Hilarious, light, funnhy, cunning... I felt as though i was reading Diderot.. I loved every second of it !

  • Lea
    2019-04-05 18:09

    Cute and funny. Recommended for fans of Stardust, The Princess Bride and the Discworld series.