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Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Hardback)
  • Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Hardback)
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Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Hardback)

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£10.99
Hardback 232 Pages / Published: 23/10/2014
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From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have travelled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis, and feminism. Marina Warner has loved fairy tales over a long writing life, and she explores here a multitude of tales through the ages, their different manifestations on the page, the stage, and the screen. From the phenomenal rise of Victorian and Edwardian literature to contemporary children's stories, Warner unfolds a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White and gothic interpretations such as Pan's Labyrinth. In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Her book makes a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198718659
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 282 g
Dimensions: 180 x 128 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
the book is an enchanted material object, and reading a journey toward knowledge and wisdom. * Gramayre *
thoroughly enjoyable and scholarly account * Times Literary Supplement *
elegantly concise * Literary Review *
...this is a book to treasure. It really is the perfect introduction to the subject. * Desperate Reader, Hayley Anderton *
wide ranging and handsomely produced * Rowan Williams, New Statesman *
wise, witty, elegant, little book * Amanda Craig, Mslexia *
This is a book to treasure. * Helen Parry, Shiny New Books *
Marina Warner's newest book is as pocket-sized and potent as one might expect a short history of fairy tales to be...she manages to be astute without being intrusive...there is sharpness too. * Shahidha Bari, Times Higher Education *
Warner is always intelligent, writes with great elegance and bubbles over with new ideas and impressions. Many will enjoy her style, wide range of literary reference and infectious enthusiasm. * Irish Times *
Marina Warner's new book distills her work on the literary, cultural, psychological and social influence of fairy tales, old and new, into an elegant little volume. From fantasy to feminism - it is all here. * Wall Street Journal *
For such a small book it carries a heavy load, but Ms Warner's insights are both surprising and rewarding. * The Economist *
An expert and intruiging guide to the roots and triffid-like growth of a significant genre * The Tablet *
a spellbinding cultural tour de force * The Lady *
Marina Warner is our doyenne of fairy stories ... her scholarly knowledge is not just worn lightly but presented with a flourish * Amanda Craig, Observer *
her light touch effortlessly imparts knowledge in your mind. A beautifully produced book, this will be a joy to anyone who loves stories. * Patrick Neale, The Bookseller *

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Reviews

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“Ffrom fireside tales to Grimm and Disney”

This is a good little read that takes the reader through the history of the fairy tale from their humble beginnings to the modern twists that the movies (and Disney) have added and how they have changed from... More

Hardback edition
2nd August 2015
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