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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginning point for fairy-tale lovers, 24 April 2003
By 
Amanda Reno "Twitch City fan" (Minneapolis, MN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
If you love fairy tales and would like to look into their history, this book is an excellent starting point. The tales in this book are grouped by theme (Cinderella, animal children, etc.), and for each theme, there are 3 or 4 versions of the tale that were written down in different countries and at different times. It's absolutely fascinating to see how the basic story elements mutate over time and distance, as well as how different they often are from the sanitized versions I usually see in children's bookstores. I will admit that I don't care much for the literary French versions that are included; they are intricate and detailed, but they lack the energy and humor of the older Italian tales.
I had the good fortune to take an informal class with Dr. Zipes himself a few years ago that used this book as a text, and it was a wonderful experience. I would really recommend this book as a good introduction to looking at fairy tales from a literary point of view, as well as introducing the reader to some excellent pre-Brothers Grimm authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about the orgins of the literary fairy tale, 30 Aug. 2010
By 
Mr. J. Mackenzie (Sunderland, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
I already knew about fairy tale writers like Straparola, Basile, Perrault and the Grimm brothers. That is, I was aware that they had written a large number of folk and fairy tales between them and that some of their stories were different versions of the same tale. What I did not know was where their ideas came from and how political and cultural beliefs had influenced those underlying themes and ideas.
Jack Zipes' book answered all my questions. The book also contains a number of critical articles by other experts in the field.
As an A/Level English teacher, I found this book a gold mine of information but it would appeal to anyone with an interest in the subject and is very reasonably priced.
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