Fairy Tales Framed

Early Forewords, Afterwords, and Critical Words

Edited by Ruth B. Bottigheimer

Subjects: Medieval Studies, Literary History, Literature, Folklore, European Studies
Paperback : 9781438442204, 268 pages, January 2013
Hardcover : 9781438442211, 268 pages, May 2012

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Table of contents

I. An Introduction to Fairy Tales and the Boccaccian Literary Model
1. An Introduction to Fairy Tales
2. Giovanni Boccaccio, The Genealogy of the Pagan Gods (begun circa 1350)
II. Fairy Tales in Italy: Early Authors, Theorists, and Critics
3. The Literary Fairy Tale in Italy
4. Giovan Francesco Straparola, The Pleasant Nights (1551, 1553)
5. Andrea Calmo, “Letter to Signora Frondosa” (1556)
6. Girolamo Bargagli, Dialogue on Games That Are Played during the Sienese Veglie (1572, written 1563)
7. Giambattista Basile, The Tale of Tales (Dedication for Day 1, 1634)
8. Girolamo Brusoni, The Glories of the Incogniti, Or the Illustrious Men of the Academy of the “Unknown Gentlemen” (1647)
9. Pompeo Sarnelli, Foreword to Giambattista Basile’s Pentamerone (1674) and Foreword to An Outing to Posillipo (1684)
10. Bartolomeo Lupardi, “Dedicatory Letter to Signor Giuseppe Spada” (1679)
11. Maddalena and Teresa Manfredi, and Teresa and Angiola Zanotti, The Gossip on the Chair (1742)
12. Ferdinando Galiani, On the Neapolitan Dialect (1779)
13. Luigi Serio, The Fart. Response to On the Neapolitan Dialect (1780)
III. Fairy Tales in France: Establishing non
14. Fairy Tales and Fairyland Fictions in France
15. Charles Perrault, Griselda, Novella, with the Tale of Donkeyskin and That of the Ridiculous Wishes. Fourth Edition   (1695)
16. Charles Perrault, Tales of My Mother Goose (1695)
17. Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier, Diverse Works (1696)
18. Catherine Bernard, “Prince Rosebush” and “Ricky of Tuft” in Inès of Cordova: A Spanish Novel (1696)
19. Mercure galant, Extract from The History of the Marquise / Marquis of Banneville (September 1696)
20. Charles Perrault, Histories, or Tales of Past Times (1697) Licence
21. [Editor] Mercure galant, Presentation of Histories, or Tales of Past Times (January 1697)
22. Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Tales of the Fairies (1697) and New Tales, or The Fashionable Fairies (1698)
23. Charlotte Rose de La Force, “Notice Concerning the Following Story” in
The Tales of the Tales (1698)
24. Henriette Julie de Murat, Sublime and Allegorical Histories (1699)
25. Abbé Pierre de Villiers, Conversations about the Contes de Fées and some other works of our time, to serve as an antidote to bad taste, dedicated to the gentlemen of the Académie Française (1699)
26. Antoine Galland, Thousand and One Nights. Arab Tales Translated into French (1704-1717)
Works Cited

Translations of the forewords and afterwords by original fairy tale authors and commentaries by their contemporaries, material that has not been widely published in English.


2012 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Most early fairy tale authors had a lot to say about what they wrote. Charles Perrault explained his sources and recounted friends' reactions. His niece Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier and her friend Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy used dedications and commentaries to situate their tales socially and culturally, while the raffish Henriette Julie de Murat accused them all of taking their plots from the Italian writer Giovan Francesco Straparola and admitted to borrowing from the Italians herself. These reflections shed a bright light on both the tales and on their composition, but in every case, they were removed soon after their first publication. Remaining largely unknown, their absence created empty space that later readers filled with their own views about the conditions of production and reception of the tales.

What their authors had to say about "Puss in Boots," "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Rapunzel," among many other fairy tales, is collected here for the first time, newly translated and accompanied by rich annotations. Also included are revealing commentaries from the authors' literary contemporaries.

As a whole, these forewords, afterwords, and critical words directly address issues that inform the contemporary study of European fairy tales, including traditional folkloristic concerns about fairy tale origins and performance, as well as questions of literary aesthetics and historical context.

Ruth B. Bottigheimer teaches European fairy tales and British children's literature at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. She is the author of several books, including Fairy Tales: A New History, also published by SUNY Press, and Fairy Godfather: Straparola, Venice, and the Fairy Tale Tradition.


"It is unusual to find a work of scholarship that represents a true collaboration, yet Fairy Tales Framed appears to be just that … Bottigheimer and her colleagues have crafted a text that fills an important space in fairy tale studies, one that is seeing increased interest at the moment. Fairy Tales Framed is an excellent introduction for students and classroom instruction, and a good beginning for those looking to further research this expanding field." — Journal of American Folklore

"…more than a little provocative … adds much to the field of fairy tale studies." — Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

"This combination of introductory information and primary sources makes the book indispensable for serious students of fairy tale literature. Taken as a whole, the essays create a lively picture of the enterprise of fairy tale creation … Highly recommended." — CHOICE

"There are many multifaceted gems in this collection and they will prove rewarding reading for those working with European fairy tales." — Maria Tatar, editor of The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts, Criticism