Fairy tale
Overview
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 characters, such as fairies
Fairy
A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term...

, goblin
Goblin
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous illiterate creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.They are attributed with various abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little...

s, elves
Elf
An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind...

, troll
Troll
A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, the term troll was a generally negative synonym for a jötunn , a being in Norse mythology...

s, dwarves, giants
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

 or gnome
Gnome
A gnome is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature...

s, and usually magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 or enchantments
Incantation
An incantation or enchantment is a charm or spell created using words. An incantation may take place during a ritual, either a hymn or prayer, and may invoke or praise a deity. In magic, occultism, witchcraft it may be used with the intention of casting a spell on an object or a person...

. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies. The stories may nonetheless be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables.

In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending
Happy ending
A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the protagonists, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains....

) or "fairy tale romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily).
Encyclopedia
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 characters, such as fairies
Fairy
A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term...

, goblin
Goblin
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous illiterate creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.They are attributed with various abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little...

s, elves
Elf
An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind...

, troll
Troll
A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, the term troll was a generally negative synonym for a jötunn , a being in Norse mythology...

s, dwarves, giants
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

 or gnome
Gnome
A gnome is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature...

s, and usually magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 or enchantments
Incantation
An incantation or enchantment is a charm or spell created using words. An incantation may take place during a ritual, either a hymn or prayer, and may invoke or praise a deity. In magic, occultism, witchcraft it may be used with the intention of casting a spell on an object or a person...

. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies. The stories may nonetheless be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables.

In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending
Happy ending
A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the protagonists, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains....

) or "fairy tale romance" (though not all fairy tales end happily). Colloquially, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale
Tall tale
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, for example fish stories such as, "that fish was so big, why I tell ya', it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!" Other tall tales are completely...

.

In cultures where demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s and witches are perceived as real, fairy tales may merge into legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s and epics, they usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and actual places, people, and events; they take place once upon a time
Once upon a time
"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used in some form since at least 1380 in storytelling in the English language, and seems to have become a widely accepted convention for opening oral narratives by around 1600. These stories often then end with ".....

 rather than in actual times.

Fairy tales are found in oral and in literary form. The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace because only the literary forms can survive. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years, although not perhaps recognized as a genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

; the name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy
Madame d'Aulnoy
Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d'Aulnoy , also known as Countess d'Aulnoy, was a French writer known for her fairy tales...

 in the late 17th century. Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world. Fairy tales, and works derived from fairy tales, are still written today.

The older fairy tales were intended for an audience of adults, as well as children, but they were associated with children as early as the writings of the précieuses
Précieuses
The French literary style called préciosité arose in the 17th century from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses , the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet; her Chambre bleue offered a...

; the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm , Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm , were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular...

 titled their collection Children's and Household Tales, and the link with children has only grown stronger with time.

Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways. The Aarne-Thompson classification system
Aarne-Thompson classification system
The Aarne–Thompson classification system is a system for classifying folktales. First developed by Antti Aarne and published in 1910, it was translated and enlarged by Stith Thompson...

 and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Russian and Soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.- Biography :...

 are among the most notable. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.

Definition

Although the fairy tale is a distinct genre within the larger category of folktale, the definition that marks a work as a fairy tale is a source of considerable dispute. One universally agreed-upon matter is that fairy tales do not require fairies. (The term itself comes from the translation of Madame D'Aulnoy's conte de fées, first used in her collection in 1697.) Common parlance conflates fairy tales with beast fable
Beast fable
The beast fable or beast epic, usually a short story or poem in which animals talk, is a traditional form of allegorical writing. It is a type of fable in which human behaviour and weaknesses are subject to scrutiny by reflection into the animal kingdom....

s and other folktales, and scholars differ on the degree to which the presence of fairies and/or similarly mythical beings (e.g., elves, goblins, trolls, giants) should be taken as a differentiator. Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Russian and Soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.- Biography :...

, in his Morphology of the Folktale, criticized the common distinction between "fairy tales" and "animal tales" on the grounds that many tales contained both fantastic
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 elements and animals. Nevertheless, to select works for his analysis, Propp used all Russian folktales classified as a folk lore Aarne-Thompson
Antti Aarne
Antti Amatus Aarne was a Finnish folklorist.-Background:Aarne was the student of Julius Krohn and his son Kaarle Krohn...

 300-749 – in a cataloguing system that made such a distinction – to gain a clear set of tales. His own analysis identified fairy tales by their plot elements, but that in itself has been criticized, as the analysis does not lend itself easily to tales that do not involve a quest
Quest
In mythology and literature, a quest, a journey towards a goal, serves as a plot device and as a symbol. Quests appear in the folklore of every nation and also figure prominently in non-national cultures. In literature, the objects of quests require great exertion on the part of the hero, and...

, and furthermore, the same plot elements are found in non-fairy tale works.
As Stith Thompson
Stith Thompson
Stith Thompson was an American scholar of folklore. He is the "Thompson" of the Aarne-Thompson classification system.- Biography :...

 points out, talking animals and the presence of magic
Magic (fantasy)
Magic in fiction is the endowing of fictional characters or objects with magical powers.Such magic often serves as a plot device, the source of magical artifacts and their quests...

 seem to be more common to the fairy tale than fairies themselves. However, the mere presence of animals that talk does not make a tale a fairy tale, especially when the animal is clearly a mask on a human face, as in fable
Fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

s.

In his essay "On Fairy-Stories
On Fairy-Stories
"On Fairy-Stories" is an essay by J. R. R. Tolkien which discusses the fairy-story as a literary form. It was initially written for presentation by Tolkien as the Andrew Lang lecture at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1939. It first appeared in print, with some enhancement, in 1947, in...

", J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

 agreed with the exclusion of "fairies" from the definition, defining fairy tales as stories about the adventures of men in Faërie, the land of fairies, fairytale prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

s and princess
Princess
Princess is the feminine form of prince . Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince, or his daughters....

es, dwarves, elves, and not only other magical species but many other marvels. However, the same essay excludes tales that are often considered fairy tales, citing as an example The Monkey's Heart
The Heart of a Monkey
The Heart of a Monkey is a Swahili fairy tale collected by Edward Steere in Swahili Tales. Andrew Lang included it in The Lilac Fairy Book. It is Aarne-Thompson 91.-Synopsis:...

, which Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.- Biography :Lang was born in Selkirk...

 included in The Lilac Fairy Book.

Steven Swann Jones identified the presence of magic as the feature by which fairy tales can be distinguished from other sorts of folktales. Davidson and Chaudri identify "transformation" as the key feature of the genre. From a psychological point of view, Jean Chiriac argued for the necessity of the fantastic
Fantastic
The Fantastic is a literary term that describes a quality of other literary genres, and, in some cases, is used as a genre in and of itself, although in this case it is often conflated with the Supernatural. The term was originated in the structuralist theory of critic Tzvetan Todorov in his work...

 in these narratives.

Some folklorists
Folkloristics
Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore. The term derives from a nineteenth century German designation of folkloristik to distinguish between folklore as the content and folkloristics as its study, much as language is distinguished from linguistics...

 prefer to use the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 term Märchen or "wonder tale" to refer to the genre, a practice given weight by the definition of Thompson in his 1977 edition of The Folktale: "a tale of some length involving a succession of motifs or episodes. It moves in an unreal world without definite locality or definite creatures and is filled with the marvelous. In this never-never land, humble hero
Hero
A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

es kill adversaries, succeed to kingdoms and marry princesses." The characters and motifs of fairy tales are simple and archetypal: princesses and goose-girls; youngest son
Youngest son
The youngest son is a stock character in fairy tales, where he features as the hero. He is usually the third son, but sometimes there are more brothers, and sometimes he has only one; usually, they have no sisters....

s and gallant prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

s; ogre
Ogre
An ogre is a large, cruel, monstrous, and hideous humanoid monster, featured in mythology, folklore, and fiction. Ogres are often depicted in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings, and have appeared in many classic works of literature...

s, giants
Giant (mythology)
The mythology and legends of many different cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. "Giant" is the English word commonly used for such beings, derived from one of the most famed examples: the gigantes of Greek mythology.In various Indo-European mythologies,...

, dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

s, and troll
Troll
A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, the term troll was a generally negative synonym for a jötunn , a being in Norse mythology...

s; wicked stepmothers
Wicked Stepmother
Wicked Stepmother is a 1989 American comedy film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. It is best known for being the last film of Bette Davis, who withdrew from the project after filming began, citing major problems with the script and the way she was being photographed...

 and false hero
False hero
The false hero is a stock character in fairy tales, and sometimes also in ballads. The character appears near the end of a story in order to claim to be the hero or heroine and is, therefore, always of the same sex as the hero or heroine. The false hero presents some claim to the position. By...

es; fairy godmother
Fairy godmother
In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a fairy with magical powers who acts as a mentor or parent to someone, in the role that an actual godparent was expected to play in many societies...

s and other magical helpers
Donor (fairy tale)
In fairy tales, a donor is a character that tests the hero and provides magical assistances to the hero when he succeeds.The fairy godmother is a well-known form of this character...

, often talking horses, or foxes, or birds
Talking animal
A talking animal or speaking animal refers to any form of non-human animal which can produce sounds resembling those of a human language. Many species or groups of animals have developed forms of Animal Communication Systems which to some appear to be a non-verbal language...

; glass mountains; and prohibitions and breaking of prohibitions.

In terms of aesthetic values, Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

 cited the fairy tale as a prime example of "quickness" in literature, because of the economy and concision of the tales.

History of the genre

Originally, stories we would now call fairy tales were not marked out as a separate genre. The German term "Märchen" literally translates as "tale" – not any specific type of tale. Roots of the genre come from different oral stories passed down in European cultures. The first significant person to record fairy tales was Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault was a French author who laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known include Le Petit Chaperon rouge , Cendrillon , Le Chat Botté and La Barbe bleue...

 who recorded stories such as Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

 and Cinderella
Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

 in his book of Mother Goose
Mother Goose
The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme". A Christmas pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom...

 fairy tales. The fairy tale emerged as an unquestioned genre in the works of the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm , Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm , were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular...

, who recorded various tales from different cultures and revised many of Perrault's. In this evolution, the name was coined when the précieuses
Précieuses
The French literary style called préciosité arose in the 17th century from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses , the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet; her Chambre bleue offered a...

took up writing literary stories; Madame d'Aulnoy
Madame d'Aulnoy
Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d'Aulnoy , also known as Countess d'Aulnoy, was a French writer known for her fairy tales...

 invented the term conte de fée, or fairy tale, in the late 17th century.

Before the definition of the genre of fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

, many works that would now be classified as fantasy were termed "fairy tales", including Tolkien's The Hobbit
The Hobbit
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald...

, George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II...

, and L. Frank Baum
L. Frank Baum
Lyman Frank Baum was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz...

's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

. Indeed, Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories" includes discussions of world-building and is considered a vital part of fantasy criticism. Although fantasy, particularly the sub-genre of fairytale fantasy
Fairytale fantasy
Fairytale fantasy is distinguished from other subgenres of fantasy by the works' heavy use of motifs, and often plots, from folklore.-History:...

, draws heavily on fairy tale motifs, the genres are now regarded as distinct.

Folk and literary

The fairy tale, told orally, is a sub-class of the folktale
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

. Many writers have written in the form of the fairy tale. These are the literary fairy tales, or Kunstmärchen. The oldest forms, from Panchatantra
Panchatantra
The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma...

to the Pentamerone
Pentamerone
The Pentamerone is a seventeenth-century fairy tale collection by Italian poet and courtier Giambattista Basile.-Background:...

, show considerable reworking from the oral form. The Brothers Grimm were among the first to try to preserve the features of oral tales. Yet the stories printed under the Grimm name have been considerably reworked to fit the written form.

Literary fairy tales and oral fairy tales freely exchanged plots, motifs, and elements with one another and with the tales of foreign lands. Many 18th-century folklorists attempted to recover the "pure" folktale, uncontaminated by literary versions. Yet while oral fairy tales likely existed for thousands of years before the literary forms, there is no pure folktale, and each literary fairy tale draws on folk traditions, if only in parody. This makes it impossible to trace forms of transmission of a fairy tale. Oral story-tellers have been known to read literary fairy tales to increase their own stock of stories and treatments.

History

The oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

 of the fairy tale came long before the written page. Tales were told or enacted dramatically, rather than written down, and handed down from generation to generation. Because of this, the history of their development is necessarily obscure. The oldest known written fairy tales stem from ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, c. 1300 BC (ex. The Tale of Two Brothers
Tale of Two Brothers
The Tale of Two Brothers is an ancient Egyptian story that dates from the reign of Seti II, who ruled from 1200 to 1194 BC during the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. The story is preserved on the Papyrus D'Orbiney, which is currently preserved in the British Museum. The British Museum dates the...

), and fairy tales appear, now and again, in written literature throughout literate cultures, as in The Golden Ass
The Golden Ass
The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass , is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety....

, which includes Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche , is a legend that first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius' novel, The Golden Ass, written in the 2nd century CE. Apuleius likely used an earlier tale as the basis for his story, modifying it to suit the thematic needs of his novel.It has...

(Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, 100–200 AD), or the Panchatantra
Panchatantra
The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma...

(India
Folklore of India
The folklore of India compasses the folklore of the nation of India and the Indian subcontinent.The subcontinent of India contains a wide diversity of ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups...

 3rd century BCE), but it is unknown to what extent these reflect the actual folk tales even of their own time. The stylistic evidence indicates that these, and many later collections, reworked folk tales into literary forms. What they do show is that the fairy tale has ancient roots, older than the Arabian Nights
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age...

collection of magical tales (compiled circa 1500 AD), such as Vikram and the Vampire
Baital Pachisi
Baital Pachisi or Vetala Panchavimshati , is a collection of tales and legends within a frame story, from India. It was originally written in Sanskrit....

, and Bel and the Dragon
Bel and the Dragon
The narrative of Bel and the Dragon incorporated as chapter 14 of the extended Book of Daniel exists only in Greek in the Septuagint. This chapter, along with chapter 13, is referred to as deuterocanonical, in that it is not universally accepted among Christians as belonging to the canonical works...

. Besides such collections and individual tales, in China
Chinese folklore
Chinese folklore includes songs, dances, puppetry, and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love, and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.-Folktales:...

, Taoist
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 philosophers such as Liezi
Liezi
The Liezi is a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a circa 5th century BCE Hundred Schools of Thought philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE.-Textual history:...

 and Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

 recounted fairy tales in their philosophical works. In the broader definition of the genre, the first famous Western fairy tales are those of Aesop
Aesop
Aesop was a Greek writer credited with a number of popular fables. Older spellings of his name have included Esop and Isope. Although his existence remains uncertain and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a...

 (6th century BC) in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

.

Jack Zipes writes in When Dreams Came True, "There are fairy tale elements in Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

's The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at...

, Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

's The Faerie Queene
The Faerie Queene
The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English...

, and ... in many of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 plays". King Lear
King Lear
King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The title character descends into madness after foolishly disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological...

can be considered a literary variant of fairy tales such as Water and Salt
Water and Salt
Water and Salt is an Italian fairy tale, it can be found in the collection Italian Popular Tales, collected by Thomas Frederick Crane.In the Aarne-Thompson classification system, Water and Salt is Type 923.-Synopsis:...

and Cap O' Rushes
Cap O' Rushes
"Cap-o'-Rushes" is an English fairy tale published by Joseph Jacobs in English Fairy Tales.Jacobs gives his source as "Contributed by Mrs. Walter-Thomas to "Suffolk Notes and Queries" of the Ipswich Journal, published by Mr. Lang in Longman's Magazine, vol. xiii., also in Folk-Lore September, 1890"...

. The tale itself resurfaced in Western literature
Western literature
Western literature refers to the literature written in the languages of Europe, including the ones belonging to the Indo-European language family as well as several geographically or historically related languages such as Basque, Hungarian, and so forth...

 in the 16th and 17th centuries, with The Facetious Nights of Straparola
The Facetious Nights of Straparola
]The Facetious Nights of Straparola , also known as The Nights of Straparola, is a two-volume collection of 75 stories by Italian author and fairy-tale collector Giovanni Francesco Straparola...

by Giovanni Francesco Straparola
Giovanni Francesco Straparola
Giovanni Francesco "Gianfrancesco" Straparola was an Italian writer and fairy tale collector from Caravaggio, Italy. He has been termed the progenitor of the literary form of the fairy tale in Europe...

 (Italy, 1550 and 1553), which contains many fairy tales in its inset tales, and the Neapolitan
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 tales of Giambattista Basile
Giambattista Basile
Giambattista Basile was an Italian poet, courtier, and fairy tale collector.- Biography :Born to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was, during his career, a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in 1575, while...

 (Naples, 1634–6), which are all fairy tales. Carlo Gozzi
Carlo Gozzi
Carlo, Count Gozzi was an Italian playwright.Born in Venice, he came from an old Venetian family from the Republic of Ragusa...

 made use of many fairy tale motifs among his Commedia dell'Arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

 scenarios, including among them one based on The Love For Three Oranges
The Love for Three Oranges (fairy tale)
The Love for Three Oranges or The Three Citrons is an Italian literary fairy tale written by Giambattista Basile in the Pentamerone. It is the concluding tale, and the one the heroine of the frame story uses to reveal that an imposter has taken her place.It is Aarne-Thompson type 408, and the...

(1761). Simultaneously, Pu Songling
Pu Songling
Pu Songling was a Qing Dynasty Chinese writer, best known as the author of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.-Biography:Pu was born into a poor landlord-merchant family from Zichuan...

, in China, included many fairy tales in his collection, Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio or Liaozhai Zhiyi is a collection of nearly five hundred mostly supernatural tales written by Pu Songling in Classical Chinese during the early Qing Dynasty.Pu borrows from a folk tradition of oral storytelling to put to paper a series of captivating,...

(published posthumously, 1766). The fairy tale itself became popular among the précieuses
Précieuses
The French literary style called préciosité arose in the 17th century from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses , the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet; her Chambre bleue offered a...

of upper-class France
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 (1690–1710), and among the tales told in that time were the ones of La Fontaine and the Contes of Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault was a French author who laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known include Le Petit Chaperon rouge , Cendrillon , Le Chat Botté and La Barbe bleue...

 (1697), who fixed the forms of Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

and Cinderella
Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

. Although Straparola's, Basile's and Perrault's collections contain the oldest known forms of various fairy tales, on the stylistic evidence, all the writers rewrote the tales for literary effect.

The first collectors to attempt to preserve not only the plot and characters of the tale, but also the style in which they were told, were the Brothers Grimm
Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm , Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm , were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular...

, collecting German fairy tales; ironically, this meant although their first edition (1812 & 1815) remains a treasure for folklorists, they rewrote the tales in later editions to make them more acceptable, which ensured their sales and the later popularity of their work.

Such literary forms did not merely draw from the folktale, but also influenced folktales in turn. The Brothers Grimm rejected several tales for their collection, though told orally to them by Germans, because the tales derived from Perrault, and they concluded they were thereby French
French folklore
French folklore encompasses the fables, folklore and fairy tales and legends of the Gauls, Franks, Normans, Bretons, Occitans, and other peoples living in France.-Folklore from the Middle Ages:...

 and not German tales; an oral version of Bluebeard
Bluebeard
"Bluebeard" is a French literary folktale written by Charles Perrault and is one of eight tales by the author first published by Barbin in Paris in January 1697 in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé. The tale tells the story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the...

was thus rejected, and the tale of Briar Rose, clearly related to Perrault's Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

, was included only because Jacob Grimm convinced his brother that the figure of Brynhildr
Brynhildr
Brynhildr is a shieldmaiden and a valkyrie in Norse mythology, where she appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some Eddic poems treating the same events. Under the name Brünnhilde she appears in the Nibelungenlied and therefore also in Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des...

, from much earlier Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, proved that the sleeping princess was authentically Germanic
Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology is a comprehensive term for myths associated with historical Germanic paganism, including Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, Continental Germanic mythology, and other versions of the mythologies of the Germanic peoples...

 folklore.

This consideration of whether to keep Sleeping Beauty reflected a belief common among folklorists of the 19th century: that the folk tradition preserved fairy tales in forms from pre-history except when "contaminated" by such literary forms, leading people to tell inauthentic tales. The rural, illiterate, and uneducated peasants, if suitably isolated, were the folk and would tell pure folk tales. Sometimes they regarded fairy tales as a form of fossil, the remnants of a once-perfect tale. However, further research has concluded that fairy tales never had a fixed form, and regardless of literary influence, the tellers constantly altered them for their own purposes.

The work of the Brothers Grimm influenced other collectors, both inspiring them to collect tales and leading them to similarly believe, in a spirit of romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

, that the fairy tales of a country were particularly representative of it, to the neglect of cross-cultural influence. Among those influenced were the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Alexander Afanasyev
Alexander Afanasyev
Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev was a Russian folklorist who recorded and published over 600 Russian folktales and fairytales, by far the largest folktale collection by any one man in the world...

 (first published in 1866), the Norwegians
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was a Norwegian writer and scholar. He and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe were collectors of Norwegian folklore...

 and Jørgen Moe
Jørgen Moe
right|thumb|Norske Folkeeventyr Asbjørnsen and Moe Jørgen Engebretsen Moe was a Norwegian bishop and author...

 (first published in 1845), the Romanian Petre Ispirescu
Petre Ispirescu
Petre Ispirescu was a Romanian printer and publicist.-Biography:Born in Bucharest, his parents wanted him to be a priest and he was entrusted to study with a monk at the Metropolitan Church, after he studied with a priest at the Doamna Bălaşa Church....

 (first published in 1874), the English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs was a folklorist, literary critic and historian. His works included contributions to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, translations of European works, and critical editions of early English literature...

 (first published in 1890), and Jeremiah Curtin
Jeremiah Curtin
Jeremiah Curtin was an American translator and folklorist.-Life:Born in Detroit, Michigan, Curtin spent his early life in Milwaukee County and later graduated from Harvard College in 1863. In 1864 he went to Russia, where he worked as both a translator and for the U.S. legation...

, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 who collected Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 tales (first published in 1890). Ethnographers collected fairy tales over the world, finding similar tales in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

; Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.- Biography :Lang was born in Selkirk...

 was able to draw on not only the written tales of Europe and Asia, but those collected by ethnographers, to fill his "coloured" fairy books series
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books — also known as Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors — are a series of twelve collections of fairy tales, published between 1889 and 1910...

. They also encouraged other collectors of fairy tales, as when Yei Theodora Ozaki
Yei Theodora Ozaki
Yei Theodora Ozaki was an early 20th century translator of Japanese short stories and fairy tales. Her translations were fairly liberal but have been popular, and were reprinted several times after her death.According to "A Biographical Sketch" by Mrs...

 created a collection, Japanese Fairy Tales (1908), after encouragement from Lang. Simultaneously, writers such as Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 and George MacDonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

 continued the tradition of literary fairy tales. Andersen's work sometimes drew on old folktales, but more often deployed fairytale motifs and plots in new tales. MacDonald incorporated fairytale motifs both in new literary fairy tales, such as The Light Princess
The Light Princess
The Light Princess is a fairy tale by George MacDonald. It was published in 1864.- Plot summary :A king and queen, after some time, have a daughter. The king invites everyone to the christening, except his sister Princess Makemnoit, a spiteful and sour woman. She arrives without an invitation and...

, and in works of the genre that would become fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

, as in The Princess and the Goblin
The Princess and the Goblin
The Princess and the Goblin is a children's fantasy novel by George MacDonald. It was published in 1872 by Strahan & Co.The sequel to this book is The Princess and Curdie....

or Lilith
Lilith
Lilith is a character in Jewish mythology, found earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, who is generally thought to be related to a class of female demons Līlīṯu in Mesopotamian texts. However, Lowell K. Handy notes, "Very little information has been found relating to the Akkadian and Babylonian view...

.

Cross-cultural transmission

Two theories of origins have attempted to explain the common elements in fairy tales found spread over continents. One is that a single point of origin generated any given tale, which then spread over the centuries; the other is that such fairy tales stem from common human experience and therefore can appear separately in many different origins.

Fairy tales with very similar plots, characters, and motifs are found spread across many different cultures. Many researchers hold this to be caused by the spread of such tales, as people repeat tales they have heard in foreign lands, although the oral nature makes it impossible to trace the route except by inference. Folklorists have attempted to determine the origin by internal evidence, which can not always be clear; Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs was a folklorist, literary critic and historian. His works included contributions to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, translations of European works, and critical editions of early English literature...

, comparing the Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 tale The Ridere of Riddles
The Ridere of Riddles
The Ridere of Riddles is a Scottish fairy tale collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands, listing as his informant John Mackenzie, a fisherman near Inverary. Joseph Jacobs included it, somewhat altered, in More Celtic Fairy Tales.-Synopsis:A king's queen died when...

with the version collected by the Brothers Grimm, The Riddle
The Riddle (fairy tale)
The Riddle is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 22. It is Aarne-Thompson type 851, winning the princess with a riddle. Andrew Lang included it in The Green Fairy Book. It is sometimes known as A Riddling Tale and is about a man whose wife is transformed into a flower...

, noted that in The Ridere of Riddles one hero ends up polygamously
Polygamy
Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners...

 married, which might point to an ancient custom, but in The Riddle, the simpler riddle might argue greater antiquity.

Folklorists of the "Finnish" (or historical-geographical) school attempted to place fairy tales to their origin, with inconclusive results. Sometimes influence, especially within a limited area and time, is clearer, as when considering the influence of Perrault's tales on those collected by the Brothers Grimm. Little Briar-Rose appears to stem from Perrault's Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

, as the Grimms' tale appears to be the only independent German variant. Similarly, the close agreement between the opening of Grimms' version of Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood, also known as Little Red Cap, is a French fairy tale about a young girl and a Big Bad Wolf. The story has been changed considerably in its history and subject to numerous modern adaptations and readings....

and Perrault's tale points to an influence – although Grimms' version adds a different ending (perhaps derived from The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids
The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids
The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 5. It is Aarne-Thompson type 123., but has a strong resemblance to The Three Little Pigs and other Aarne-Thomspson type 124 folktales, and to the variant of Little Red Riding Hood that the Grimms...

).
Fairy tales also tend to take on the color of their location, through the choice of motifs, the style in which they are told, and the depiction of character and local color.

Association with children

Originally, adults were the audience of a fairy tale just as often as children. Literary fairy tales appeared in works intended for adults, but in the 19th and 20th centuries the fairy tale became associated with children's literature
Children's literature
Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

.

The précieuses
Précieuses
The French literary style called préciosité arose in the 17th century from the lively conversations and playful word games of les précieuses , the witty and educated intellectual ladies who frequented the salon of Catherine de Vivonne, marquise de Rambouillet; her Chambre bleue offered a...

, including Madame d'Aulnoy
Madame d'Aulnoy
Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d'Aulnoy , also known as Countess d'Aulnoy, was a French writer known for her fairy tales...

, intended their works for adults, but regarded their source as the tales that servants, or other women of lower class, would tell to children. Indeed, a novel of that time, depicting a countess's suitor offering to tell such a tale, has the countess exclaim that she loves fairy tales as if she were still a child. Among the late précieuses, Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
-Life:She was born in Rouen and died in 1780. She lost her mother when she was only eleven but wrote that she did not mourn her passing. The family was very poor and several of her siblings had to be sent away for adoption. She wrote that her mother had suffered terribly at not being able to...

 redacted a version of Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. The first published version of the fairy tale was a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740...

for children, and it is her tale that is best known today. The Brothers Grimm titled their collection Children's and Household Tales and rewrote their tales after complaints that they were not suitable for children.

In the modern era, fairy tales were altered so that they could be read to children. The Brothers Grimm concentrated mostly on eliminating sexual references; Rapunzel
Rapunzel
"Rapunzel" is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales. The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force originally published in 1698...

, in the first edition, revealed the prince's visits by asking why her clothing had grown tight, thus letting the witch deduce that she was pregnant, but in subsequent editions carelessly revealed that it was easier to pull up the prince than the witch. On the other hand, in many respects, violence – particularly when punishing villains – was increased. Other, later, revisions cut out violence; J. R. R. Tolkien noted that The Juniper Tree
The Juniper Tree (fairy tale)
The Juniper Tree is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. In some editions the story is called, The Almond Tree. The Text in the Grimm collection is in Low German....

often had its cannibalistic
Cannibalism
Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh of other human beings. It is also called anthropophagy...

 stew cut out in a version intended for children. The moralizing strain in the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 altered the classical tales to teach lessons, as when George Cruikshank
George Cruikshank
George Cruikshank was a British caricaturist and book illustrator, praised as the "modern Hogarth" during his life. His book illustrations for his friend Charles Dickens, and many other authors, reached an international audience.-Early life:Cruikshank was born in London...

 rewrote Cinderella in 1854 to contain temperance
Temperance movement
A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence , or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation or complete prohibition of alcohol.-Temperance movement by...

 themes. His acquaintance Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 protested, "In an utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected."

Psychoanalysts
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 such as Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim
Bruno Bettelheim was an Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer. He gained an international reputation for his work on Freud, psychoanalysis, and emotionally disturbed children.-Background:...

, who regarded the cruelty of older fairy tales as indicative of psychological conflicts, strongly criticized this expurgation, because it weakened their usefulness to both children and adults as ways of symbolically resolving issues.

The adaptation of fairy tales for children continues. Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

's influential Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full...

was largely (although certainly not solely) intended for the children's market. The anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 Magical Princess Minky Momo
Magical Princess Minky Momo
, also known as Magical Princess Gigi or Gigi or Benvenuta Gigi and Tanto tempo fa...Gigi in Italy, is the title of two different magical-girl anime. The first Momo, often called Sora Momo , aired from 1982...

draws on the fairy tale Momotarō
Momotaro
is a popular hero from Japanese folklore. His name literally means Peach Tarō; as Tarō is a common Japanese boy's name, it is often translated as Peach Boy...

. Jack Zipes has spent many years working to make the older traditional tales accessible to modern readers and their children.

In Waldorf schools, fairy tales are used in the first grade as a central part of the curriculum. Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

's work on human development claims that at age six to seven, the mind of a child is best taught through storytelling
Storytelling
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values...

. The archetypes and magical nature of fairy tales appeals strongly to children of these ages. The nature of fairy tales, following the oral tradition, enhances the child's ability to visualize a spoken narrative, as well as to remember the story as heard.

Literary

In contemporary literature
Contemporary literature
Contemporary literature is literature with its setting generally after World War II. Subgenres of contemporary literature include contemporary romance.-History:This table lists literary movements by decade. It should not be assumed to be comprehensive....

, many authors have used the form of fairy tales for various reasons, such as examining the human condition
Human condition
The human condition encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc. — a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of...

 from the simple framework a fairytale provides. Some authors seek to recreate a sense of the fantastic in a contemporary discourse. Some writers use fairy tale forms for modern issues; this can include using the psychological dramas implicit in the story, as when Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley is a distinguished author of fantasy and children's books who has written sixteen books to date. Her latest book Pegasus was published in 2010...

 retold Donkeyskin
Donkeyskin
Donkeyskin is a French fairy tale told by Charles Perrault.Andrew Lang included it, somewhat euphemized, in The Grey Fairy Book.It is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510B, unnatural love...

as the novel Deerskin
Deerskin (novel)
Deerskin is a dark fantasy novel by Robin McKinley, first published in 1993. It is based on an old French fairy tale by Charles Perrault called Peau d'âne . It was nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature....

, with emphasis on the abusive treatment the father of the tale dealt to his daughter. Sometimes, especially in children's literature, fairy tales are retold with a twist simply for comic effect, such as The Stinky Cheese Man
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
The Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales is a postmodern children's book by Jon Scieszka. Published in 1992 by Viking, it is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children's stories and fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Gingerbread Man"...

by Jon Scieszka
Jon Scieszka
Jon Scieszka was born September 8, 1954 in Flint, Michigan is an American author of children's literature, best known for his collaborations with illustrator Lane Smith. He is also a nationally recognized reading advocate, and in early 2008 was named the National Ambassador for Young People's...

 and The ASBO Fairy Tales by Chris Pilbeam. A common comic motif is a world where all the fairy tales take place, and the characters are aware of their role in the story, such as in the film series Shrek.

Other authors may have specific motives, such as multicultural
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 or feminist
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

 reevaluations of predominantly Eurocentric
Eurocentrism
Eurocentrism is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective and with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of European culture...

 masculine-dominated fairy tales, implying critique of older narratives. The figure of the damsel in distress
Damsel in distress
The subject of the damsel in distress, or persecuted maiden, is a classic theme in world literature, art, and film. She is usually a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue. She has become a stock character of fiction,...

 has been particularly attacked by many feminist critics. Examples of narrative reversal rejecting this figure include The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch
Robert Norman Munsch, CM is an American-born Canadian children's author.-Personal life and career:Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

, a picture book aimed at children in which a princess rescues a prince, and Angela Carter
Angela Carter
Angela Carter was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works...

's The Bloody Chamber, which retells a number of fairy tales from a female point of view.

One use of the genre occurred in a military technology journal named Defense AT&L, which published an article as a fairytale titled Optimizing Bi-Modal Signal/Noise Ratios. Written by Maj. Dan Ward (USAF
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

), the story uses a fairy named Garble to represent breakdowns in communication between operators and technology developers. Ward's article was heavily influenced by George MacDonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

.

Other notable figures who have employed fairy tales include Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

,
Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow , was an English poet and novelist.- Early life and education :Born at Boston, Lincolnshire, she was the daughter of William Ingelow, a banker...

,
Sara Coleridge
Sara Coleridge
Sara Coleridge was an English author and translator. She was the fourth child and only daughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his wife Sarah Fricker.-Early life:...

, Kathryn Davis, A. S. Byatt
A. S. Byatt
Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, DBE is an English novelist, poet and Booker Prize winner...

, Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

, Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
Jane Hyatt Yolen is an American author and editor of almost 300 books. These include folklore, fantasy, science fiction, and children's books...

, Terri Windling
Terri Windling
Terri Windling is an American editor, artist, essayist, and the author of books for both children and adults. Windling has won nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and her collection The Armless Maiden appeared on the short-list for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award...

, Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme was an American author known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston , co-founder of Fiction Donald...

, Robert Coover
Robert Coover
Robert Lowell Coover is an American author and professor in the Literary Arts program at Brown University. He is generally considered a writer of fabulation and metafiction.-Life and works:...

, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

, Kate Bernheimer
Kate Bernheimer
- Works :Kate Bernheimer's first two novels, The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold and The Complete Tales of Merry Gold , were published by Fiction Collective 2. Amongst her other work, her short-story collection Horse, Flower, Bird was published in Fall 2010 by Coffee House Press...

, Espido Freire
Espido Freire
María Laura Espido Freire is a writer born in Bilbao, Spain on July 16, 1974.- Biography :Espido Freire dedicated her early years to the study and performance of classical music...

, Tanith Lee
Tanith Lee
Tanith Lee is a British writer of science fiction, horror and fantasy. She is the author of over 70 novels and 250 short stories, a children's picture book and many poems. She also wrote two episodes of BBC science fiction series Blake's 7...

, James Thurber
James Thurber
James Grover Thurber was an American author, cartoonist and celebrated wit. Thurber was best known for his cartoons and short stories published in The New Yorker magazine.-Life:...

, Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley is a distinguished author of fantasy and children's books who has written sixteen books to date. Her latest book Pegasus was published in 2010...

, Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer – July 24, 1991) was a Polish Jewish American author noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978...

, Kelly Link
Kelly Link
Kelly Link is an American editor and author of short stories. While some of her fiction falls more clearly within genre categories, many of her stories might be described as slipstream or magic realism: a combination of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and realism...

, Bruce Holland Rogers
Bruce Holland Rogers
Bruce Holland Rogers is an American author of short fiction who also writes under the pseudonym Hanovi Braddock. His stories have won a Pushcart Prize, two Nebula Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, two World Fantasy Awards, the Micro Award, and have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and...

, Donna Jo Napoli
Donna Jo Napoli
Donna Jo Napoli is an author of children's and young adult books, as well as a prominent linguist who has worked in syntax, phonetics, phonology, morphology, historical and comparative linguistics, Romance studies, structure of Japanese, structure of American Sign Language, poetics, writing for...

, Cameron Dokey
Cameron Dokey
Cameron Dokey is an American author. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her three cats and her husband. She has a collection of over 50 old sci-fi and horror films.Cameron was born in the Central Valley of California...

, Rikki Ducornet, Robert Bly
Robert Bly
Robert Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement.-Life:Bly was born in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, to Jacob and Alice Bly, who were of Norwegian ancestry. Following graduation from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving...

, Gail Carson Levine
Gail Carson Levine
Gail Carson Levine is an American author of young adult books. Her first novel, Ella Enchanted, received a Newbery Honor in 1998.-Early life:...

, Katie Farris
Katie Farris
Katie Farris is a fiction writer, translator, and professor.Farris has taught at UC Berkeley and Brown University and has served as a Visiting Professor at New England College's MFA Program...

, Annette Marie Hyder, Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde
Jasper Fforde is a British novelist. Fforde's first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published in 2001. Fforde is mainly known for his Thursday Next novels, although he has written several books in the loosely connected Nursery Crime series and begun two more independent series: The Last Dragonslayer...

, and many others.

It may be hard to lay down the rule between fairy tales and fantasies
Fairytale fantasy
Fairytale fantasy is distinguished from other subgenres of fantasy by the works' heavy use of motifs, and often plots, from folklore.-History:...

 that use fairy tale motifs, or even whole plots, but the distinction is commonly made, even within the works of a single author: George MacDonald's Lilith
Lilith (novel)
Lilith is a fantasy novel written by Scottish writer George MacDonald and first published in 1895. Its importance was recognized in its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fifth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in September 1969.Lilith is considered among...

and Phantastes
Phantastes
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. It was later reprinted in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fourteenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in April 1970.The story centres on the character...

are regarded as fantasies, while his "The Light Princess
The Light Princess
The Light Princess is a fairy tale by George MacDonald. It was published in 1864.- Plot summary :A king and queen, after some time, have a daughter. The king invites everyone to the christening, except his sister Princess Makemnoit, a spiteful and sour woman. She arrives without an invitation and...

", "The Golden Key
The Golden Key
The Golden Key is a fairy tale written by George MacDonald. It was published in Dealings with the Fairies .It is particularly noted for the intensity of the suggestive imagery, which implies a spiritual meaning to the story without providing a transparent allegory for the events in it.-Plot...

", and "The Wise Woman" are commonly called fairy tales. The most notable distinction is that fairytale fantasies, like other fantasies, make use of novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

istic writing conventions of prose, characterization, or setting.

Film

Fairy tales have been enacted dramatically; records exist of this in commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

, and later in pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

. The advent of cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 has meant that such stories could be presented in a more plausible manner, with the use of special effects and animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

; the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full...

in 1937 was a ground-breaking film for fairy tales and, indeed, fantasy in general. Disney's influence helped establish this genre as a children's genre, and has been blamed for simplification of fairy tales ending in situations where everything goes right, as opposed to the pain and suffering – and sometimes unhappy endings – of many folk fairy tales.

Many filmed fairy tales have been made primarily for children, from Disney's later works to Aleksandr Rou's retelling of Vasilissa the Beautiful
Vasilissa the Beautiful
Vasilisa the Beautiful , commonly known as Vasilisa's Doll, is a Russian fairy tale collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki....

, the first Soviet film
Cinema of the Soviet Union
The cinema of the Soviet Union, not to be confused with "Cinema of Russia" despite Russian language films being predominant in both genres, includes several film contributions of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union reflecting elements of their pre-Soviet culture, language and history,...

 to use Russian folk tales in a big-budget feature. Others have used the conventions of fairy tales to create new stories with sentiments more relevant to contemporary life, as in Labyrinth
Labyrinth (film)
Labyrinth is a 1986 British/American fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas, and designed by Brian Froud. Henson collaborated on the screenwriting with children's author Dennis Lee, Terry Jones from Monty Python, and Elaine May .The film stars David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin...

, My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro
, is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film follows the two young daughters of a professor and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan...

, the films of Michel Ocelot
Michel Ocelot
Michel Ocelot is a French writer, character designer, storyboard artist and director of animated films and television programs and a former president of the International Animated Film Association...

, and Happily N'Ever After
Happily N'Ever After
Happily N'Ever After is a 2007 American computer-animated film based on the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. It is a Vanguard Animation production, released by Lions Gate Films on January 5, 2007...

.

Other works have retold familiar fairy tales in a darker, more horrific or psychological variant aimed primarily at adults. Notable examples are Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

's Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast (1946 film)
Beauty and the Beast is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology . Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette...

and The Company of Wolves
The Company of Wolves
The Company of Wolves is a 1984 gothic fantasy-horror film directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Sarah Patterson and Angela Lansbury.The film is based on the werewolf story of the same name in Angela Carter's short story collection The Bloody Chamber...

, based on an Angela Carter
Angela Carter
Angela Carter was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works...

's retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood, also known as Little Red Cap, is a French fairy tale about a young girl and a Big Bad Wolf. The story has been changed considerably in its history and subject to numerous modern adaptations and readings....

. Likewise, Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke
is a 1997 epic Japanese animated historical fantasy feature film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. is not a name, but a general term in the Japanese language for a spirit or monster...

, Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish Spanish-language dark fantasy film, written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by the Mexican film company Esperanto Films...

, Suspiria
Suspiria
Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi. The film follows an American ballet student who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany, only to discover that it is controlled by a coven of witches. The film's score was...

, and Spike
Spike (2008 film)
Spike is a 2008 horror-romance directed by Robert Beaucage, produced by String And A Can Productions, and starring Edward Gusts, Sarah Livingston Evans, Anna-Marie Wayne, Nancy P...

create new stories in this genre from fairy tale and folklore motifs.

In comics and animated TV series, The Sandman, Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena
is a manga by Chiho Saito and anime directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The manga serial began in the June 1996 issue of Ciao and the anime was first broadcast in 1997. The anime and manga were created simultaneously, but, despite some similarities, they progressed in different directions. A movie, was...

, Princess Tutu
Princess Tutu
is a magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. It was adapted as a 2-volume manga illustrated by Mizuo Shinonome...

, Fables and MÄR
MÄR
, an acronym for Märchen Awakens Romance, is a manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai. The television anime based on the series is titled and was originally broadcast in Japan on the TXN station....

all make use of standard fairy tale elements to various extents but are more accurately categorised as fairytale fantasy
Fairytale fantasy
Fairytale fantasy is distinguished from other subgenres of fantasy by the works' heavy use of motifs, and often plots, from folklore.-History:...

 due to the definite locations and characters which a longer narrative requires.

A more modern cinematic fairy tale would be Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo was an Italian theatre, opera and cinema director, as well as a screenwriter. He is best known for his films The Leopard and Death in Venice .-Life:...

’s Le Notti Bianche
Le notti bianche
Le Notti Bianche is a 1957 Italian film directed by Italian neorealist Luchino Visconti. The movie takes its title and basic plot from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1848 short story, White Nights.-Plot:...

, starring Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni, Knight Grand Cross was an Italian film actor. His honours included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival and two Golden Globe Awards.- Personal life :...

 before he became a superstar. It involves many of the romantic conventions of fairy tales, yet it takes place in post-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and it ends realistically.

Motifs

Any comparison of fairy tales quickly discovers that many fairy tales have features in common with each other. Two of the most influential classifications are those of Antti Aarne
Antti Aarne
Antti Amatus Aarne was a Finnish folklorist.-Background:Aarne was the student of Julius Krohn and his son Kaarle Krohn...

, as revised by Stith Thompson
Stith Thompson
Stith Thompson was an American scholar of folklore. He is the "Thompson" of the Aarne-Thompson classification system.- Biography :...

 into the Aarne-Thompson classification system
Aarne-Thompson classification system
The Aarne–Thompson classification system is a system for classifying folktales. First developed by Antti Aarne and published in 1910, it was translated and enlarged by Stith Thompson...

, and Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Russian and Soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.- Biography :...

's Morphology of the Folk Tale.

Aarne-Thompson

This system groups fairy and folk tales according to their overall plot. Common, identifying features are picked out to decide which tales are grouped together. Much therefore depends on what features are regarded as decisive.

For instance, tales like Cinderella
Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

 – in which a persecuted heroine, with the help of the fairy godmother
Fairy godmother
In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a fairy with magical powers who acts as a mentor or parent to someone, in the role that an actual godparent was expected to play in many societies...

 or similar magical helper
Donor (fairy tale)
In fairy tales, a donor is a character that tests the hero and provides magical assistances to the hero when he succeeds.The fairy godmother is a well-known form of this character...

, attends an event (or three) in which she wins the love of a prince and is identified as his true bride – are classified as type 510, the persecuted heroine. Some such tales are The Wonderful Birch
The Wonderful Birch
The Wonderful Birch is a Russian fairy tale.A variant on Cinderella, it is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510A, the persecuted heroine. It makes use of shapeshifting motifs.Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book.-Synopsis:...

; Aschenputtel; Katie Woodencloak
Katie Woodencloak
Katie Woodencloak or Kari Woodengown is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in Norske Folkeeventyr. Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book....

; The Story of Tam and Cam
The Story of Tam and Cam
The Story of Tấm and Cám is an ancient Vietnamese fairy tale. Best known as the Vietnamese version of Cinderella.The last section of the story has been the subject of controversy. An edited version was published in secondary school textbooks in 2011. This was supported by some educators and...

; Ye Xian
Ye Xian
Ye Xian or Yeh-Shen is a Chinese fairy tale that is similar to the European Cinderella story and the Malay-Indonesian Bawang Putih Bawang Merah tale...

; Cap O' Rushes
Cap O' Rushes
"Cap-o'-Rushes" is an English fairy tale published by Joseph Jacobs in English Fairy Tales.Jacobs gives his source as "Contributed by Mrs. Walter-Thomas to "Suffolk Notes and Queries" of the Ipswich Journal, published by Mr. Lang in Longman's Magazine, vol. xiii., also in Folk-Lore September, 1890"...

; Catskin
Catskin
Catskin is an English fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs, in More English Fairy Tales. Marian Roalfe Cox, in her pioneering study of Cinderella, identified as one of the basic types, the Unnatural Father, contrasting with Cinderella itself and Cap O' Rushes.It is Aarne-Thompson type 510B,...

; Fair, Brown and Trembling
Fair, Brown and Trembling
Fair, Brown and Trembling is an Irish fairy tale collected by Jeremiah Curtin in Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland and Joseph Jacobs in his Celtic Fairy Tales.It is Aarne-Thompson type 510A...

; Finette Cendron
Finette Cendron
Finette Cendron is a French literary fairy tale written by Madame d'Aulnoy.It is Aarne-Thompson type 510A...

; Allerleirauh
Allerleirauh
Allerleirauh is a fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm. Since the second edition published in 1819, it has been recorded as Tale no. 65. Andrew Lang included it in The Green Fairy Book....

; and Tattercoats
Tattercoats
Tattercoats is an English fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in his More English Fairy Tales.It is Aarne-Thompson type 510B, the persecuted heroine...

.

Further analysis of the tales shows that in Cinderella, The Wonderful Birch, The Story of Tam and Cam, Ye Xian, and Aschenputtel, the heroine is persecuted by her stepmother and refused permission to go to the ball or other event, and in Fair, Brown and Trembling and Finette Cendron by her sisters and other female figures, and these are grouped as 510A; while in Cap O' Rushes, Catskin, and Allerleirauh, the heroine is driven from home by her father's persecutions, and must take work in a kitchen elsewhere, and these are grouped as 510B. But in Katie Woodencloak, she is driven from home by her stepmother's persecutions and must take service in a kitchen elsewhere, and in Tattercoats, she is refused permission to go to the ball by her grandfather. Given these features common with both types of 510, Katie Woodencloak is classified as 510A because the villain is the stepmother, and Tattercoats as 510B because the grandfather fills the father's role.

This system has its weaknesses in the difficulty of having no way to classify subportions of a tale as motifs. Rapunzel
Rapunzel
"Rapunzel" is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales. The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force originally published in 1698...

is type 310 (The Maiden in the Tower), but it opens with a child being demanded in return for stolen food, as does Puddocky
Puddocky
"Puddocky" is a German fairy tale. A variant, "Cherry," was collected by the Brothers Grimm, and in French, Madame d'Aulnoy retold it in a literary fairy tale as "The White Cat", altering the tale's frog into a cat.-Synopsis:...

; but Puddocky is not a Maiden in the Tower tale, while The Canary Prince
The Canary Prince
The Canary Prince is an Italian fairy tale, the 18th tale in Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino. He took the tale from Turin, making various stylistic changes; he noted it developed a medieval motif, but such tales as Marie de France's Yonec produced a rather different effect, being tales of...

, which opens with a jealous stepmother, is.

It also lends itself to emphasis on the common elements, to the extent that the folklorist describes The Black Bull of Norroway as the same story as Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale. The first published version of the fairy tale was a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in La jeune américaine, et les contes marins in 1740...

. This can be useful as a shorthand but can also erase the coloring and details of a story.

Morphology

Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Propp
Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Russian and Soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.- Biography :...

 specifically studied a collection of Russian fairy tales, but his analysis has been found useful for the tales of other countries.
Having criticized Aarne-Thompson type analysis for ignoring what motifs did in stories, and because the motifs used were not clearly distinct, he analyzed the tales for the function each character and action fulfilled and concluded that a tale was composed of thirty-one elements and eight character types. While the elements were not all required for all tales, when they appeared they did so in an invariant order – except that each individual element might be negated twice, so that it would appear three times
Rule of three (writing)
The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of...

, as when, in Brother and Sister
Brother and Sister
Brother and Sister is a well-known European fairy tale which was, among others, written down by the Brothers Grimm in their collection of Children's and Household Tales ...

, the brother resists drinking from enchanted streams twice, so that it is the third that enchants him.

One such element is the donor
Fairy godmother
In fairy tales, a fairy godmother is a fairy with magical powers who acts as a mentor or parent to someone, in the role that an actual godparent was expected to play in many societies...

who gives the hero magical assistance, often after testing him. In The Golden Bird
The Golden Bird
"The Golden Bird" is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, number 57, about the pursuit of a golden bird by a king's three sons.A French version, collected by Paul Sébillot, is called The Golden Blackbird. Andrew Lang included that variant in The Green Fairy Book.It is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 550,...

, the talking fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

 tests the hero by warning him against entering an inn and, after he succeeds, helps him find the object of his quest; in The Boy Who Drew Cats
The Boy Who Drew Cats
"The Boy Who Drew Cats" is a Japanese fairy tale collected by Lafcadio Hearn in Japanese Fairy Tales.-Synopsis:A farmer and his wife had many children; the youngest son was too small and weak, and spent all his time drawing cats instead of doing his chores. So, they took him to the temple to become...

, the priest advised the hero to stay in small places at night, which protects him from an evil spirit; in Cinderella
Cinderella
"Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper" is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world. The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune...

, the fairy godmother gives Cinderella the dresses she needs to attend the ball, as their mothers' spirits do in Bawang Putih Bawang Merah
Bawang Putih Bawang Merah
Bawang Putih Bawang Merah is one of the more famous of old Malay archipelago folktales, passed down orally through the generations. Like most Malay folktales, the story is laden with lessons regarding familial values, patience in the face of adversity, and that ultimately good will be rewarded and...

and The Wonderful Birch
The Wonderful Birch
The Wonderful Birch is a Russian fairy tale.A variant on Cinderella, it is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510A, the persecuted heroine. It makes use of shapeshifting motifs.Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book.-Synopsis:...

; in The Fox Sister
The Fox Sister
-Synopsis:A man had three sons and no daughter. He prayed for a daughter, even if she was a fox. His wife gave birth to a daughter, but when the girl was six, one of their cows died every night. He set his oldest son to watch. The boy watched, and told him that his sister did it, by pulling the...

, a Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 monk gives the brothers magical bottles to protect against the fox spirit. The roles can be more complicated. In The Red Ettin
The Red Ettin
The Red Ettin or The Red Etin is a fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs. It was included by Andrew Lang in The Blue Fairy Book.-Synopsis:Two widows lived in a hut, and one had two sons and the other had one -- or a single widow had three sons...

, the role is split into the mother – who offers the hero the whole of a journey cake with her curse or half with her blessing – and when he takes the half, a fairy who gives him advice; in Mr Simigdáli
Mr Simigdáli
Mr Simigdáli is a Greek fairy tale, collected by Irene Naumann-Mavrogordato in Es war einmal: Neugriechische Volksmärchen. Georgios A. Megas collected a variant Master Semolina in Folktales of Greece. There are about forty known Greek variants on the fairy tale of baking a figure and having it...

, the sun, the moon, and the stars all give the heroine a magical gift. Characters who are not always the donor can act like the donor. In Kallo and the Goblins
Kallo and the Goblins
Kallo and the Goblins is a Greek fairy tale. Fani Papalouka, Nikolaos Politis, and Haris Sakellariou collected variants of the story.-Synopsis:...

, the villain goblins also give the heroine gifts, because they are tricked; in Schippeitaro
Schippeitaro
Shippeitaro is a Japanese fairy tale. Andrew Lang included it in The Violet Fairy Book, listing his source as Japanische Marchen.-Synopsis:A young warrior wandered the land in search of adventure...

, the evil cat
Cat
The cat , also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felids and felines, is a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin and household pests...

s betray their secret to the hero, giving him the means to defeat them. Other fairy tales, such as The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was or The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. It is tale number 4 in the collection...

, do not feature the donor.

Analogies have been drawn between this and the analysis of myths into the Hero's journey
Monomyth
Joseph Campbell's term monomyth, also referred to as the hero's journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces...

.

This analysis has been criticized for ignoring tone, mood, characters and, indeed, anything that differentiates one fairy tale from another.

Interpretations

Many fairy tales have been interpreted for their (purported) significance. One mythological interpretation claimed that many fairy tales, including Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel
"Hansel and Gretel" is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic hag living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery. The two children...

, Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

, and The Frog King
The Frog Prince (story)
"The Frog Prince; or, Iron Henry" is a fairy tale, best known through the Brothers Grimm's written version; traditionally it is the first story in their collection. In the tale, a spoiled princess reluctantly befriends a frog , who magically transforms into a handsome prince...

, all were solar myths
Solar deity
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms...

; this mode of interpretation is rather less popular now. Many have also been subjected to Freudian
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, Jungian
Analytical psychology
Analytical psychology is the school of psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. His theoretical orientation has been advanced by his students and other thinkers who followed in his tradition. Though they share similarities, analytical psychology is distinct from...

, and other psychological
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 analysis, but no mode of interpretation has ever established itself definitively.

Specific analyses have often been criticized for lending great importance to motifs that are not, in fact, integral to the tale; this has often stemmed from treating one instance of a fairy tale as the definitive text, where the tale has been told and retold in many variations. In variants of Bluebeard
Bluebeard
"Bluebeard" is a French literary folktale written by Charles Perrault and is one of eight tales by the author first published by Barbin in Paris in January 1697 in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé. The tale tells the story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the...

, the wife's curiosity is betrayed by a blood-stained key
Bluebeard
"Bluebeard" is a French literary folktale written by Charles Perrault and is one of eight tales by the author first published by Barbin in Paris in January 1697 in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé. The tale tells the story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the...

, by an egg's breaking
Fitcher's Bird
Fitcher's Bird is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 46.It is Aarne-Thompson type 311, the heroine rescues herself and her sisters. Another tale of this type is How the Devil Married Three Sisters. It is closely related to the tale Bluebeard...

, or by the singing of a rose she wore
How the Devil Married Three Sisters
How the Devil Married Three Sisters is an Italian fairy tale collected by Thomas Frederick Crane in Italian Popular Tales.It is Aarne-Thompson type 311, the heroine rescues herself and her sisters...

, without affecting the tale, but interpretations of specific variants have claimed that the precise object is integral to the tale.

Other folklorists have interpreted tales as historical documents. Many German folklorists, believing the tales to have been preserved from ancient times, used Grimms' tales to explain ancient customs. Other folklorists have explained the figure of the wicked stepmother historically: many women did die in childbirth, their husbands remarried, and the new stepmothers competed with the children of the first marriage for resources.

Compilations

See also: Collections of fairy tales


Authors and works:
  • Mixed Up Fairy Tales
  • Book of British Fairy Tales (United Kingdom, 1984) by Alan Garner
    Alan Garner
    With his first book published, Garner abandoned his work as a labourer and gained a job as a freelance television reporter, living a "hand to mouth" lifestyle on a "shoestring" budget...

  • Fairy Tales
    Fairy Tales (Cummings)
    Fairy Tales is a book of short stories by E. E. Cummings, published posthumously in 1965. It contains four stories: "The Old Man Who Said 'Why'", "The Elephant and The Butterfly", "The House That Ate Mosquito Pie", and "The Little Girl Named I". The book is printed in full color with...

    (USA, 1965) by E. E. Cummings
    E. E. Cummings
    Edward Estlin Cummings , popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in lowercase letters as e.e. cummings , was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright...

  • Fairy Tales, Now First Collected: To which are prefixed two dissertations: 1. On Pygmies. 2. On Fairies (England, 1831) by Joseph Ritson
    Joseph Ritson
    Joseph Ritson was an English antiquary.He was born at Stockton-on-Tees, of a Westmorland yeoman family. He was educated for the law, and settled in London as a conveyancer at the age of twenty-two. He devoted his spare time to literature, and in 1782 published an attack on Thomas Warton's History...

  • Giovanni Francesco Straparola
    Giovanni Francesco Straparola
    Giovanni Francesco "Gianfrancesco" Straparola was an Italian writer and fairy tale collector from Caravaggio, Italy. He has been termed the progenitor of the literary form of the fairy tale in Europe...

     (Italy, 16th century)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales
    Grimm's Fairy Tales
    Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales .-Composition:...

    (Germany, 1812–1857)
  • Hans Christian Andersen
    Hans Christian Andersen
    Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

     (Denmark, 1805–1875)
  • Italian Folktales
    Italian Folktales
    Italian Folktales is a collection of 200 Italian folktales published in 1956 by Italo Calvino. Calvino began to undertake the project that will lead to the Italian Folktales in 1954, influenced by Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale; his intention was to emulate the Brothers Grimm in...

    (Italy, 1956) by Italo Calvino
    Italo Calvino
    Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

  • Joseph Jacobs
    Joseph Jacobs
    Joseph Jacobs was a folklorist, literary critic and historian. His works included contributions to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, translations of European works, and critical editions of early English literature...

     (1854–1916)
  • Legende sau basmele românilor
    Legende sau basmele românilor
    Legende sau basmele românilor is a collection, in several volumes, of Romanian folktales, first published in 1874 by Petre Ispirescu.-Contents:...

    (Romania, 1874) by Petre Ispirescu
    Petre Ispirescu
    Petre Ispirescu was a Romanian printer and publicist.-Biography:Born in Bucharest, his parents wanted him to be a priest and he was entrusted to study with a monk at the Metropolitan Church, after he studied with a priest at the Doamna Bălaşa Church....

  • Madame d'Aulnoy
    Madame d'Aulnoy
    Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d'Aulnoy , also known as Countess d'Aulnoy, was a French writer known for her fairy tales...

     (France, 1650–1705)
  • Norwegian Folktales (Norway, 1845–1870) by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
    Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
    Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was a Norwegian writer and scholar. He and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe were collectors of Norwegian folklore...

     and Jørgen Moe
    Jørgen Moe
    right|thumb|Norske Folkeeventyr Asbjørnsen and Moe Jørgen Engebretsen Moe was a Norwegian bishop and author...

  • Narodnye russkie skazki
    Narodnye russkie skazki
    Russian Fairy Tales , is a collection of Russian fairy tales, collected by Alexander Afanasyev and published by him between 1855 and 1863. His work was explicitly modeled after the Brothers Grimm's work, Grimm's Fairy Tales....

    (Russia, 1855–1863) by Alexander Afanasyev
    Alexander Afanasyev
    Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev was a Russian folklorist who recorded and published over 600 Russian folktales and fairytales, by far the largest folktale collection by any one man in the world...

  • Pentamerone
    Pentamerone
    The Pentamerone is a seventeenth-century fairy tale collection by Italian poet and courtier Giambattista Basile.-Background:...

    (Italy, 1634–1636) by Giambattista Basile
    Giambattista Basile
    Giambattista Basile was an Italian poet, courtier, and fairy tale collector.- Biography :Born to a Neapolitan middle-class family, Basile was, during his career, a courtier and soldier to various Italian princes, including the doge of Venice. According to Benedetto Croce he was born in 1575, while...

  • Charles Perrault
    Charles Perrault
    Charles Perrault was a French author who laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known include Le Petit Chaperon rouge , Cendrillon , Le Chat Botté and La Barbe bleue...

     (France, 1628–1703)
  • Panchatantra
    Panchatantra
    The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma...

    (India, 3rd century BCE)
  • Popular Tales of the West Highlands
    Popular Tales of the West Highlands
    Popular Tales of the West Highlands is a four-volume collection of fairy tales, collected and published by John Francis Campbell, and often translated from Gaelic as well. Alexander Carmichael was one of the main contributors...

    (Scotland, 1862) by John Francis Campbell
    John Francis Campbell
    John Francis Campbell , Celtic scholar, educated at Eton and Edinburgh, was afterwards Secretary to the Lighthouse Commission...

  • Ruth Manning-Sanders
    Ruth Manning-Sanders
    Ruth Manning-Sanders was a prolific British poet and author who was perhaps best known for her series of children's books in which she collected and retold fairy tales from all over the world. All told, she published more than 90 books during her lifetime. The dust jacket for A Book of Giants...

     (Wales, 1886–1988)
  • Kunio Yanagita
    Kunio Yanagita
    was a Japanese scholar who is often known as the father of Japanese native folkloristics, or minzokugaku.He was born in Fukusaki, Hyōgo Prefecture. After graduating with a degree in law from Tokyo Imperial University, he became employed as a bureaucrat in the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce...

     (Japan, 1875–1962)
  • World Tales
    World Tales
    World Tales, subtitled "The Extraordinary Coincidence of Stories Told in All Times, in All Places" is a book of 65 folk tales collected by Idries Shah from around the world, mostly from literary sources...

    (United Kingdom, 1979) by Idries Shah
    Idries Shah
    Idries Shah , also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi , was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies.Born in India, the descendant of a...


See also

  • Bengt Holbek
    Bengt Holbek
    Bengt Holbek was a Danish folklorist who wrote one of the definitive works of fairy tale scholarship entitled Interpretation of Fairy Tales...

  • Fairytale fantasy
    Fairytale fantasy
    Fairytale fantasy is distinguished from other subgenres of fantasy by the works' heavy use of motifs, and often plots, from folklore.-History:...

  • Fable
    Fable
    A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

  • Nursery rhyme
    Nursery rhyme
    The term nursery rhyme is used for "traditional" poems for young children in Britain and many other countries, but usage only dates from the 19th century and in North America the older ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’ is still often used.-Lullabies:...

  • Saga
    Saga
    Sagas, are stories in Old Norse about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, etc.Saga may also refer to:Business*Saga DAB radio, a British radio station*Saga Airlines, a Turkish airline*Saga Falabella, a department store chain in Peru...

  • Skazka
    Skazka
    Skazka is the English transcription of Сказка, the Russian word literally meaning story, but used to mean fairy tale. The term skazka can be used in many different forms to determine the type of tale or story being told...


External links

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