May 17, 2011

Essential Books About Fairy Tales -- For Grown Ups

As we all know, many fairy tales were not written primarily for children. Some of them are clearly too violent or racy for kids. Yet the sanitized versions of fairy tales, while still entertaining, leave adults without the full story.

It is certainly true that no one owns fairy tales, so cleaning them up for younger readers is as valid as the more recent versions of fairy tales -- some of which are very adult indeed. (Note to would-be submitters to EC: We are aimed at an age 13 and up audience. All work published here is parent friendly.) Anyway, the original, "real" versions of fairy tales are available, as are a huge variety of excellent books by scholars that are fun to read and enlightening. To find our top favorites, see the "10 Favorite Fairy Tale Books" Amazon slide show at left. A few of the books there are aimed at children, but were chosen for their classic status and lovely illustrations. The Uses of Enchantment, by the ever controversial Bruno Bettelheim was chosen for its influential status, even though much of his ideas have been questioned, discredited or damned as plagiarized.

The Amazon widget at the top of our page has even more books about and including fairy tales and I've read all or nearly all of them. And yes, there is nail polish, jewelry, etc., because fairy tales and commerce really are connected. Fairy tales abound with stuff!

However you acquire these books, please do so. They are worth the reading, the joy, the knowledge.

The illustration above is by Adrienne Segur, who illustrated the Golden Book we have included in our favorite book list. The image is from "The Tinder Box,"one of my favorite Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales.

Kate Wolford, Editor

1 comment

  1. So glad that you included this illustration. I love the Tinderbox (one of my favorite stories to tell to 5th grade children) and I have saved my own copy of the Golden Book with its unique illustrations.

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