Non-fiction Books About Fairy Tales

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Non-fiction Books About Fairy Tales

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Edited: Jun 27, 2010, 8:00pm

I have read:
From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers by Marina Warner
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales by Kate Bernheimer

I thought both books were fascinating.
Does anyone else like this kind of thing or have any suggestions of similar books?

Edited: Jun 29, 2010, 1:06am

Jack Zipes and Maria Tatar have many fairy tale studies between them.

Jun 28, 2010, 5:53am

The annotated brothers grimm is very good, and you might want to look at

Jun 30, 2010, 6:30pm

I'm currently reading Maria Tatar's Secrets Beyond the Door which analyzes the tale of Bluebeard (and similar tales like Grimm's 'Fitcher's Bird' and the Italian 'Silvernose') and am finding it fascinating.

Another excellent book focused on a specific tale, this time Little Red Riding Hood, is Catherine Orenstein's Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked.

Jul 1, 2010, 2:04pm

V. Propp: Morphology of the Folktale. A bit dry, but still fascinating.
His other books dealing with fairy tales have not, as far as I know, been translated into English (I read them in Italian):

Historic Roots of the Fairy Tale (Исторические корни волшебной сказки)
The Russian Fairy Tale (Русская сказка)

Jul 7, 2010, 6:24pm

Try one of these:

"At the Bottom of the Garden: A Dark History of Fairies, Hobgoblins & Other Troublesome Things" by Diane Purkiss

"No Go the Bogeyman" by Marina Warner

"Spinning Straw into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman's Life" by Joan Gould

"The Witch Must Die: How Fairy Tales Shape Our Lives" by Sheldon Cashdan

"Trickster Makes the World" by Lewis Hyde

Oct 31, 2010, 7:38am

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Oct 31, 2010, 7:40am

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Edited: Oct 31, 2010, 8:02am

For a political/environmental take, I would recommend Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain: Romantic Protest, 1945-1980, Meredith Veldman.

(Oops, sorry for the deletes, I was trying to get the touchstone thing to work).

Nov 1, 2010, 7:33am

Though I disagree with him, Michael D. O'Brien's A Landscape With Dragons is an intelligent discussion of myth paradigms. As in "Don't mess with my paradigms!"

He speaks from the religious right.

Nov 4, 2010, 12:16pm

I enjoyed the aforementioned Zipes' Fairy tale as myth/myth as fairy tale.

Feb 26, 2013, 6:36am

I want to second (or third) just about anything by Jack Zipes, he is by far the best fairy tale scholar out there. Also, watch his lectures on youtube. Some awesome stuff there. This is a fascinating round table he took part in that got me reading Donna Jo Napoli and included Maria Tatar as well: