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The Irresistible Fairy TaleThe Cultural and Social History of a Genre$
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Jack Zipes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153384

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153384.001.0001

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The Meaning of Fairy Tale within the Evolution of Culture

The Meaning of Fairy Tale within the Evolution of Culture

(p.21) 2 The Meaning of Fairy Tale within the Evolution of Culture
The Irresistible Fairy Tale

Jack Zipes

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the significance of Madame Catherine-Anne d'Aulnoy and the French writers of fairy tales in the 1690s. d'Aulnoy coined the term “fairy tale” in 1697, when she published her first collection of tales. But it was not until 1750 that the term “fairy tale” came into common English usage. The chapter explores the historical importance of the term “fairy tale” in greater depth by discussing the role of the fairies in d'Aulnoy's works. It also looks at how fairies were part of a long oral and literary tradition in French culture, and how d'Aulnoy's employment of fairies in her tales owes a debt to Greek and Roman myths, the opera, theatrical spectacles, debates about the role of women in French society, and French folklore.

Keywords:   French fairy tales, French writers, Catherine-Anne d'Aulnoy, orality, fairies

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