on 3 August 2012
Zipes begins the book with quite a lengthy introduction, which explains the aims of the book. In his introduction, Zipes explains a little about the origins of fairy tales but more specifically, the origins of the feminist fairy tale. He also explains about how females and males have been represented over the years and why there was a need for the view of females to be altered. Zipes' introduction is really interesting, especially for someone who doesn't really know a whole lot about feminism of feminist fairy tales - like me.
The first section of Don't Bet on the Prince tackles fairy tales for younger readers. However, only the fairy tales themselves are printed without any commentary. The second section of the book concentrates on fairy tales for older readers in the same way as the same section. I really wish that these tales had been explained rather than only shown. It doesn't help to be able to see any feminist aspects in these tales if you aren't used to the genre of criticism. Although you know they are feminist tales by the title of the book, I would have liked to have been told specifics about both them and the author.
The last section of Don't Bet on the Prince is what I found really helpful. Here, there are essays by feminist literary critics or critics talking about feminist aspects of fairy tales. These essays explain stereotypical genre conventions and the difference between how women's roles are written in classic fairy tales compared to more contemporary tales. Karen E. Rowe talks about feminism in fairy tales while Marcia K. Leiberman explains the use of princes in fairy tales and how women come to rely on them. All of the essays in this section give fairy tales as examples, even specific quotes, which helped me a great deal.
Jack Zipes, along with the critics who wrote the essays, helped a great deal in pointing out new and different fairy tales to be. Also, I have now got a better understanding of feminist views of fairy tales and a great list of feminist tales which I can use in my dissertation. I'm glad that I started with this book as it showed me that Jack Zipes is going to be an author I get to know much better over the course of the next year.
on 7 July 1998
I read this first as a little girl, before i knew how to spell feminism let alone define it. The stories captivated me then for their ability to lead my mind into another land more fantastical than my own. Later in life, re-reading this book i was compelled by the issues, thoughts and questions Zipes raised in my mind. It is not feminism that kills you with its anger, it is feminism that makes you think. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes daring, and sometimes blatant, it always stands there to be read and re-read. A constant delight.
on 12 June 2004
I recently wrote a University essay on Feminism and fairytales, after reading this Jack Zipes book, it was so interesting and he touches upon all the feminist issues that still occur in tales today. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is or was as a child interested in fairy tales and the deeper meaning behind them.
on 2 September 2003
I decided to read this book after Amazon recommended it to me.
The book itself is divided in to three main parts: stories for younger readers, older readers and literary criticism. I was completely enthralled with the stories for younger readers.
My main thought was that I wished I had had these stories when I was younger. The stories for older readers were also of the highest standard, including some poetry as well. However the standout story for me was Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood.
The final section of critical essays I found a little bit heavy-going as I am unused to reading such material, but overall there were some interesting ideas. Overall I would give this book the highest rating because of its structure and the fact it caused some very interesting discussions with my boyfriend.