From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
(and the silencing of women does not always mean a padlock through the lip or hurled abuse (Shrew! Nag! Termagant!) because we are ta ...more
Marina Warner begins with the original female character of the storyteller, including the three precursors to Mother Goose: the Sibylline Prophesies, Saint Anne, and the Queen of Sheba. She explores the spread of fairy stories through "old wives' tales" to the grand salons of France and explains how stories change based on who tells them and when in history th ...more
In the words of Angela Carter, "Ours is a highly individualized culture, with a great faith in the work of art as a unique one-off, and the artist as an original, a godlike and inspired creator of unique one-offs. But fairy tales are not like that, nor are their makers. Who first invented meatballs? In what country? Is there a definitive recipe for potato soup? Think in terms of the d ...more
All girls want love. But what kind? And why? That is at the heart of many fairy tales. I hate to say it, but it's so Freudian. Laughing.
From the Beast to the Blonde took me a couple months to work my way through, but the good kind of "work" that's fun; plus, I learned A LOT. Already add ...more
I particularly enjoyed the second half of the book, on the themes she sees in the stories themselves and on women's role in telling the stories and in being told about.
Warner is an exceptional academic writer, and wea ...more
In this wonderful, scholarly book, Marina Warner explores the social context, meaning, and metamorphosis of fairy tales - from the Queen of Sheba via Old Mother Goose to the Disney Corporation - and the preoccupations of the people (mainly women) who told them. Rather than treating the stories as `archetypal' tales, Marina Warner returns them firmly to their historical context - a context in which small children really were abandoned in the forest ...more
Warner tells a compelling tale in this volume that encompasses hundreds of years and postulates that fairy tales have a hidden tale of their own about how women came to be valued for their silence rather than their voices, for ...more
I found it extremely interesting and insightful, offering a lot of useful historical information on fairy tales and psychology above the typical Freudian fairy tale interpretations.
Recommended only for those who have a very specific or professional interest in fairy tales however, since it is quite a heavy and long read.
She is a professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre at the University of Essex, and gave the Reith Lectures on the BBC in 1994 on the theme of 'Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time.'