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Guide to Women and Fairy Tales

SurLaLune frequently receives inquiries about women's issues and fairy tales. Here is a summary of some of the most frequently recommended sources for researching the topic as well as links to archived discussions on the SurLaLune Discussion Board.


I also have an Amazon Listmania list of most of the books mentioned on this page at Women and Fairy Tales.

Auerbach, Nina, and U. C. Knoepflmacher, editors. Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Bernheimer, Kate.  Mirror, Mirror On The Wall: Women Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales.  New York: Anchor Books, 1998.

Birkhauser-Oeri, Sibylle. The Mother: Archetypal Image in Fairy Tales. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1988.

Chervin, Ronda. The Woman's Tale: A Journal of Inner Exploration. New York: Seabury Press, 1980.

Chinen, Allan B. Waking the World : Classic Tales of Women and the Heroic Feminine. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1996.

Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. New York: Crown, 1994.

Estes, Clarissa Pinkola. The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Old Woman Archetype. New York: Random House Large Print, 1996.

Estes, Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run With the Wolves. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.

Gonzenbach, Laura. Beautiful Angiola: The Great Treasury of Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales Collected by Laura Gonzenbach. Jack Zipes, translator and editor. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Haase, Donald. Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Approaches (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies). Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2004.

Harries, Elizabeth Wanning. Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale. Princeton: Princeton University, 2001.

Jurich, Marilyn. Scheherazade's Sisters : Trickster Heroines and Their Stories in World Literature (Contributions in Women's Studies). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Lederer, Wolfgang. The Kiss of the Snow Queen: Hans Christian Andersen and Man's Redemption by Woman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Levorato, Alessandra. Language and Gender in the Fairy Tale Tradition: A Linguistic Analysis of Old and New Story-telling. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Lundell, Torborg. Fairy Tale Mothers. New York: Peter Lang, 1990.

Minard, Rosemary. Womenfolk and Fairy Tales. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975.

Orenstein, Catherine. Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Paradiz, Valerie. Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales. New York: Basic Books, 2004.

Rusch-Feja, Diann D. The Portrayal of the Maturation Process of Girl Figures in Selected Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Peter Lang, 1995.

Schectman, Jacqueline M. The Stepmother in Fairy Tales : Bereavement and the Feminine Shadow. Boston: Sigo Press, 1993.

Sellers, Susan. Myth and Fairy Tale in Contemporary Women's Fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

Tatar, Maria M. The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales. Princeton: Princeton University, 1987.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. The Feminine in Fairy Tales. Boston: Shambhala, 2001. Revised edition.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. Problems of the Feminine in Fairytales. Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, 1986.

Waelti-Walters, Jennifer R. Fairy Tales and the Female Imagination. Montreal, Canada: Eden Press, 1982.

Warner, Marina.  From Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers.  London: Chatto & Windus, 1994.

Zipes, Jack.  Beauties, Beasts and Enchantments: Classic French Fairy Tales. New York: New American Library, 1989.


Haase, Donald. "Feminist Fairy-Tale Scholarship: A Critical Survey and Bibliography." Marvels & Tales. vol. 14, no. 1 [2000]: 15-63.

Jarvis, Shawn. "Feminism and Fairy Tales." The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Jack Zipes, editor. Oxford: Oxford University, 2000.

Endicott Studio Online Articles

"The Blind Man's Daughter" by Heinz Insu Fenkl

"Bluebeard and the Bloody Chamber" by Terri Windling

"Cinderella Ashes, Blood, and the Slipper of Glass" by Terri Windling

"Les Contes de Fées: The Literary Fairy Tales of France" by Terri Windling

"The Path of Needles or Pins: Little Red Riding Hood" by Terri Windling

"Women and Fairy Tales" by Terri Windling

"Fox Wives and Other Dangerous Women" by Heinz Insu Fenkl

Discussion Board Archives

July 2000: Feminist Fairy Tales

September 2000: Trickster women

February 2001: Stepmothers???

October 2001: Beauty and the Beast/Beaumont's version-male dominance?

December 2001: I need help

April 2002: Mother/daughter themes in fairy tales

January 2003: Female folklorists...

January 2003: Need help with regards to feminist quotes on fairytales

February 2003: Teaching stories for young men

April 2003: Motherinlaw

May 2003: Women characters as heroes

July 2003: Do Any of Mme D'Aulnoy's Stories have a Happy Ending?

August 2003: Fairy tales and gender

March 2004: Little mermaid and Feminism

March 2004: Prince

May 2004: Dissertation topic

June 2004: Racism and sexism in tales

June 2004: Where are the men ?

July 2004: Marian Roalfe Cox -- Helen or others?

August 2004: Feminine Beauty in Fairy Tales

March 2005: The representation of women in disney: heroines or victims?

April 2005: FT's with Active Heroine - Why not more popular?

April 2005: Impact of fairy tales on Children and Women


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©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 6/1999; Last updated 7/2/07