Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

French & Francophone Studies

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This paper examines the interconnections of nature, magic, and violence in the Nouveaux contes de fées (New Fairy Tales) of the Countess of Ségur and their illustrations. It focuses on the ways in which the Countess reappropriates the framework of the literary fairy tale and subtly breaks with the traditions established by past fairy-tale authors, encouraging a return to nature and a movement away from the perceived corruption of the nineteenth-century city within the context of a timeless magical world. Close study of the Countess’s multiple perspectives on violence as either a motivating form of punishment or as a display of pure malice reinforce the dichotomy of good vs. evil as it is developed in the text, reflecting the author’s desire to create an ordered world in which obedience is rewarded and cruelty is justly punished.

First Advisor

William Moebius