French Fairy Tales: Essays on a Major Literary Tradition provides a unique opportunity to revisit and deepen our appreciation and understanding of French fairy tales, many of which we can recall with a sense of wonder from childhood.
These carefully selected essays, written by a variety of distinguished scholars, introduce and analyze the original versions of many French fairy tales published in France between 1691 and 1715. These range from the works of Charles Perrault (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty), to Madame Leprince de Beaumont (Beauty and the Beast), to the radically different tales of Madame d’Aulnoy (The Blue Bird, The White Cat). This anthology includes essays that analyze the complexities and importance of these tales, as well as a bibliography and filmography that give readers a chance to explore the genre further. The English translations of several French fairy tales by Jack Zipes serve as an excellent teaching tool.
Readers of French Fairy Tales will enjoy the stories and be challenged by the recent and provocative scholarship on this major literary tradition that continues to influence literature and film today.
Denyse Delcourt is a writer, a medievalist, and the author of three books. Her novel (Gabrielle au bois dormant), translated in English as Gabrielle and the Long Sleep into Mourning, was inspired by Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty. She is a professor of French at the University of Washington. Since 2000 she has taught a yearly, well-attended class on French fairy tales.