Fairy Tales

  • Michelle J. SmithEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02721-6_101-1


British children’s literature during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries tended toward didacticism, as well as moral and religious instruction. In contrast with its popularity in France and Germany, the exclusion of the fantastic from children’s literature meant that the fairy tale as a genre for children did not acquire middle-class respectability in Britain until the Victorian period (Zipes 2007). While translations of tales that would become fixtures of childhood reading by the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen appeared in numerous editions that were frequently republished through the century, British women writers also began to embrace the fairy tale form. The particular appeal of the genre for women writers was unsurprising for two reasons: first, because of women’s initiatory role in the telling of oral folktales and, second, because the fairy tale vogue within the literary salons of King Louis XIV’s court during the late eighteenth...


Children’s literature Fantasy Folk tales Children’s magazines 
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  1. Auerbach, N., and U.C. Knoepflmacher. 1992. Forbidden journeys: Fairy tales and fantasies by Victorian women writers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Further Reading

  1. Harries, E. Wanning. 2001. Twice upon a time: Women writers and the history of the fairy tale. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hillard, M.C. 2014. Spellbound: The fairy tale and the Victorians. Columbus: University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Knoepflmacher, U.C. 1998. Ventures into childland: Victorians, fairy tales, and femininity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More CollegeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada