Fernán Caballero was the pen name of Cecilia Francisca Josefa Böhl de Faber y Ruiz de Larrea (1796–1877). In 1811, she published the short fable “The Hump,” which is a take on the fairy tale trope of a king promising to give half his kingdom away to anyone who would marry his stubborn daughter.
What struck me in reading this story is the oddity of the trope. Sure, monarchs would marry their children (or themselves) off to make alliances with other monarchs, but part of this trope is that it is so random. Marrying the princess off to whoever could slay a dragon or whatever may demonstrate that the individual is skilled in combat, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to the skills to rule a kingdom.
In “The Hump,” the king determines to marry his daughter off to whomever can say what materials she used to have a tambourine made. Even less of an indicator of ability to rule a kingdom, although perhaps useful if the king is more interested in marrying his daughter off to a musician.