Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale

Paperback | August 27, 2016

byMarina Warner

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From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic storieshave travelled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration drawson ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis, and feminism. Marina Warner has loved fairy tales over a long writing life, and she explores here a multitude of tales through the ages, their different manifestations on the page, the stage, and the screen. From the phenomenal rise of Victorian and Edwardian literature to contemporary children's stories, Warnerunfolds a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White and gothic interpretations such as Pan'sLabyrinth. In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Her book makes a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repositoryof human understanding and culture.

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From the Publisher

From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic storieshave travelled across cultural borders, and be...

Marina Warner's award-winning studies of mythology and fairy tales include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976; re-issued 2013), Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (2012), From the Beast to the Blonde - on Fairy Tales and their Tellers (1994), Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of th...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8.3 × 5.9 × 0.68 inPublished:August 27, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198779852

ISBN - 13:9780198779858

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Customer Reviews of Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great little book A neat little primer on fairy tales that will inspire you to go out and start reading the great collections. From the tales' early collectors to today's, perhaps, misguided reimaginings, the book moves quickly along. There's no great depth to it, which is often the mark of a deeply knowledgeable author who know what to leave out of an introduction. Rather, these are quick looks at structure, transmission, tropes, uses, audiences, and basically anything to do with fairy tales. So go back to your childhood favourites with adult eyes, and be amazed anew.
Date published: 2015-02-27

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Prologue1. The Worlds of Faery: Far Away and Down Below2. With a Stroke of Her Wand: Magic and Metamorphosis3. Voices on the Page: Tales, Tellers, and Translators4. Potato Soup: True Stories/Real Life5. Childish Things: Pictures and Conversations6. On the Couch: House Training the Id7. In the Dock: Don't Bet on the Prince8. Double Vision: The Dream of Reason9. On Stage and Screen: States of IllusionEpilogueIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Warner is always intelligent, writes with great elegance and bubbles over with new ideas and impressions. Many will enjoy her style, wide range of literary reference and infectious enthusiasm." --Irish Times 22/11/2014