Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

A water nymph belonging to one of the four classes of Elementals identified by Paracelsus. One such is the central figure of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's classic Romantic fantasy (see Romanticism) Undine (1811); the use of the word as a proper name seems to have discouraged subsequent use of the generic term. The first cinematic treatment was La Légende des Ondines (1910 France), followed by a number of US versions of Fouqué's tale: Neptune's Daughter (1912), Undine (1912) – a 35min short – and Undine (1915). The Royal Ballet (1959 UK) features Margot Fonteyn dancing Ondine by Hans Werne Henze; Sea Shadow (1965 US) is a 16mm ballet short based on Fouqué. [BS/JF]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.