On Fairy Tales for All Ages…

“Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until the 19th century. It is only in the last century that such tales were deemed fit only for small children, stripped of much of their original complexity, sensuality, and power to frighten and delight.”

– Terri Windling

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2 thoughts on “On Fairy Tales for All Ages…

  1. I love me some old fairy tales! I do have the paperback collection of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books.
    Here is a snippet from Wikipedia:
    Lang’s urge to collect and publish fairy tales was rooted in his own experience with the folk and fairy tales of his home territory along the English-Scottish border. At the time he worked, English fairy-tale collections were rare: Dinah Maria Mulock Craik’s The Fairy Book (1869) was a lonely precedent.
    When Lang began his efforts, he “was fighting against the critics and educationists of the day,” who judged the traditional tales’ “unreality, brutality, and escapism to be harmful for young readers, while holding that such stories were beneath the serious consideration of those of mature age.”Over a generation, Lang’s books worked a revolution in this public perception.

  2. Pingback: Judging a book by its cover? « Talk About Stories

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