Whilst investigating fairy tales for an essay, Marina Warner's book was recommended to me, and I have never encountered such a thorough and comprehensive examination of fairy tales and their significance anywhere else! In the first half of the book, Warner discusses the significance of the teller of fairy tales, mostly as female. She examines the fairy tales as expressing ideas of the grandmother attempting to establish security for herself within her children's families, the problems of remarriage and stepmothers (common in the years during which fairy tales were created and retold over and over), adolescent girls attempting to reconcile their opinions of their mother, the Christian ideal of the silent woman and how women attempt to negate that, etc. The second half was for me even more interesting, examining the tales themselves and symbols within the tales, such as animals, hair, witches, etc. Warner covers every influence upon fairytales, from saint's tales to how fairy tales have been retold to promote certain political views. For a comprehensive, easy to read, fun, and engaging examination of fairy tales, there are really only two authors worth thinking about, Jack Zipes and Marina Warner. Buy this book - you will never look at fairy tales in the same way!