11 Comments

  1. The Dymphna page links to The King Who Wished to Marry His Daughter, from Scotland:

    “The King Who Wished to Marry His Daughter” is a Scottish fairy tale collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands, listing his informant as Ann Darroch from Islay.[1]

    It is ‘Aarne-Thompson type 510B,’ unnatural love. Others of this type include Cap O’ Rushes, Catskin, Little Cat Skin, Allerleirauh, Donkeyskin, The She-Bear, Tattercoats, Mossycoat, The Princess That Wore A Rabbit-Skin Dress, and The Bear.[2]

    Which all resemble each other (and overlap with the ‘Cinderella’ story).

    Whenever I read about parent-child incest in old legends or myths, it always makes me wonder what is at root–expressing unease about practices that really went on? Displeasure with incest among the nobility? Echoes of a savage or barbarous past? Or just our plain old biological aversion to parent-child incest expressing itself through folktales?

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  2. Dymphna’s father searched for them, and his search led to Belgium. There an innkeeper refused to accept his money, knowing it was difficult to exchange. This told Damon that his daughter was close – it would be unusual for a village innkeeper to know a lot about foreign currency, and his knowledge indicated that had recently seen it. The king concentrated his search in the area. When he found them in Gheel, he beheaded Gerebernus, and demanded that Dymphna surrender to him. She refused, and he killed her in a rage.

    http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-dymphna/

    Interesting.

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  3. @m.g. – “Or just our plain old biological aversion to parent-child incest expressing itself through folktales?”

    robin fox wrote quite a bit in The Tribal Imagination about incest and incest folktales/stories — presumably he wrote a lot more about it in his Red Lamp of Incest, but i haven’t read that (yet) — and he reckons these tales are all about reinforcing the westermarck effect. not that that needs much reinforcement in most cases, but because we naturally find close incest so taboo, the stories are that much more titillating. good campfire stories! (^_^)

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  4. @rjp – “And she’s looking out for me, the patron saint of sleepwalkers.”

    oh no! be careful out there … if you can be when you’re asleep. =/

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    1. @rhp Sure. You can’t have true blue eyes unless blue eyed people marry blue eyed people. The normal color is hazel. It takes a few generations to set it up because the blue eye alleles are all lined up together on one chromosome. But with dogged determination crossing blue with brown for several generations (and get lucky with the infertility) you can break them up by recombinaton and come out with a nice hazel. BTW a brown eye means inbreeding as well.

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    1. @hbd chick ” i have the “gene for blue eyes” so, if paired with the right person, i could make some more blue-eyed people” Maybe. But as I said there is a string of loci for eye color. For a generation or two the old “nrown domninant Mendelian inheritance” rule works just fine. But the recombination begins to scatter the alleles. That’s why you get the hazel color. It’s rare, of course, because if you are mixing eye colors you are mixing everything else with the resultant eventual, inevitable …. you know. Don’t make me repeat.

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