A Summary and Analysis of the ‘Three Heads in the Well’ Fairy Tale

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The King of Colchester’s Daughters’, also known by the title ‘The Three Heads in the Well’, is one of England’s oldest native fairy tales. Sharing some plot similarities with more famous tales such as Cinderella and Charles Perrault’s ‘Diamonds and Toads’, it is a tale in which kindness is rewarded and selfishness is punished, as in all good fairy stories. Below, we offer a summary of ‘The Three Heads in the Well’, along with some notes towards an analysis of this old tale about the King of Colchester and his very different daughters.

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