Turandot's Sisters: A Study of the Folktale AT 851

The central tale studied in Turandot's Sisters, first published in 1993, is The Princess Who Can Not Solve the Riddle, AT 851. Other wisdom tales are surveyed to show that they are separate from the riddle tales in material and in spirit. Customs and beliefs concerning riddling and riddle contests are examined to see what motifs from the tales are taken from reality, leaving the rest to be either fantasy motifs or stylistic traits. The central tale AT 851 is analysed in detail to exhibit its obligatory and optional elements, a wealth of possibilities that enables it to adapt to a range of moods and to express a variety of ideas.