“The Princess in the Chest.” The Pink Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1897, pp. 57-72.



“The Princess in the Chest.” The Pink Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1897, pp. 57-72.


Translated from Danish, this edition of “The Princess in the Chest” has been simplified for young readers. It comes from The Pink Fairy Book, one volume of a larger collection of stories and fairy tales for children. This version of the tale softens some of the frightening themes by incorporating some lighthearted humor and including a few detailed illustrations . This tale has clear religious references, including a hero named Christian who protects himself with a book taken off the altar in the church where the princess lies dead in a chest .

Alternative Title

The Pink Fairy Book


Andrew Lang


H. J. Ford

Spatial Coverage

New York and London and Bombay


US and England and India


New York: Longmans, Green, and Co.



Temporal Coverage



Persecuted Maidens


Although it is modified for children, this version of The Princess in the Chest closely follows the typical narrative arc of this tale type. The tale begins with a king and queen who cannot have children. Instructed by a wise woman, the queen has a daughter, but the child is taken away and cannot be seen by her parents until she is fourteen. The king breaks the command on the eve of her fourteenth birthday and so the princess dies and the king must place a guard beside the chest in which her body lays in the church every night for a year. Every guard placed at her chest disappears by morning and the number of men willing to do it grows thin. A smith named Christian agrees to stand guard, but that night he tries to escape and is stopped by a little man who instructs him on how evade the cursed princess who climbs out of her chest at night. He survives three nights guarding the chest, each time following the instructions of the little man. The morning after the third night, the princess is now alive again and freed from sorcery. Christian is rewarded by the king and he marries the princess.


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