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Maria Tatar

Author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm

17+ Works 4,079 Members 44 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Her many books include Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany (both Princeton).

Works by Maria Tatar

Associated Works

The Princess and the Goblin (1872) — Introduction, some editions — 5,307 copies
Russian Fairy Tales (2011) — Introduction, some editions — 1,392 copies
The Yellow Fairy Book (1894) — Introduction, some editions — 1,198 copies
Grimm's Grimmest (1997) — Introduction, some editions — 816 copies
The Artificial Silk Girl (1932) — Introduction, some editions — 488 copies
The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (2015) — Translator, some editions — 425 copies
The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (2007) — Editor — 349 copies
The Annotated Peter Pan (1901) — Editor, Introduction & Notes — 293 copies
The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2010) — Translator & Editor — 56 copies
The Fairies Return: Or, New Tales for Old (1934) — Introduction, some editions — 47 copies
Fairy Tale Review: The Red Issue (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies
Gramarye 10 (2016) — Editor — 2 copies
Gramarye 11 (2017) — Editor — 1 copy
Gramarye 12 (2017) — Editor — 1 copy
Gramarye 13 (2018) — Editor — 1 copy
Gramarye 14 (2018) — Editor — 1 copy
Gramarye 15 (2019) — Editor — 1 copy
Gramarye 16 (2019) — Editor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



I loved this book! I am a kindergarten teacher who teaches little kids to read because reading is one of my favorite things in life. This is an exploration of the history of telling stories to children. From around the hearth with the whole family to today - where is a bedtime story is a battle to get them to sleep. She explores themes in popular classic children's novels and what makes them irresistible to children.

I would recommend this book to those of us who have loved reading since we were children. Be warned you will want to go back and analyze your favorite books as a child.… (more)
kaylacurrently | 2 other reviews | Mar 5, 2023 |
This book is so entertaining and revolutionary in how educational it is too. I haven't read the first edition, so I don't know how they compare, but the essays in this are so informative and interesting and really show how fairy tales and folk tales are such ubiquitous features of our culture, while also managing to deeply exploring the subtle undertones they have psychologically. For instance, I couldn't stop thinking about the way these tales were probably one of the first introductions girls had to the their possible future realities as I read through all the 'Beauty and the Beast' tales, and it definitely affected how I experienced them, which I think is for the better.

Plus, all the earlier versions of the tales shared are totally bonkers. Like, beyond bizarre, which is explained by how the OG fairy tales weren't meant as morals or lessons for kids, they were created to entertain adults during busy workdays (or just noble aristocrats for the readers of Charles Perrault).

Maria Tatar has also included a wide variety of cultures for each collection, so you really get the experience of how these tales are totally independent of each other and in different locations and times with different characters, and yet are so similar in composition. For instance, there's 'little red riding hood,' but there's also 'Tsélane and the Marimo' and 'The Tiger Woman' and all these other diverse versions of the narratives. With the explanatory essays to help, it's super interesting to see how everything ties together. It's almost... magical.

If you want to dive into the more academic side of fairy tales, or just want some weird reads that aren't in any of the larger collections like the Grimm's, Perrault's, or Andrew Lang's, then you should definitely give this a try; there are plenty of cheap online versions out there too, but the introductions to all the popular tale types included here (Bluebeard, Cinderella, Tricksters, etc.) really enhance the experience, so double win!
… (more)
afdisah | 4 other reviews | Jun 20, 2022 |
I love the idea of the heroine's journey in this answer to Joseph Campbell, and I always enjoy books about books. This one was a little too all over the place for my taste.
TheLoisLevel | Feb 10, 2022 |
Mostly talking back to Bruno Bettelheim. Not bad.
Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |



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Associated Authors

Wilhelm Grimm Contributor
Anne Sexton Contributor
Lin Lan Contributor
Chiang Mi Contributor
Charles Perrault Contributor
Vladimir Propp Contributor
Karen E. Rowe Contributor
Zohar Shavit Contributor
Stith Thompson Contributor
James Thurber Contributor
Marina Warner Contributor
Oscar Wilde Contributor
Jack Zipes Contributor
Joseph Jacobs Contributor
Donald Haase Contributor
Susan Gubar Contributor
Jacob Grimm Contributor
Antti Aarne Contributor
Alexander Afanasev Contributor
Margaret Atwood Contributor
Bruno Bettelheim Contributor
Italo Calvino Contributor
Angela Carter Contributor
Roald Dahl Contributor
Robert Darnton Contributor
Lasair Gheug Contributor
Sandra M. Gilbert Contributor
A. S. Byatt Introduction
Sue Carlson Designer


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