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Handsome Collection Of Timeless Stories
on August 3, 2003
A superbly designed, very reasonably priced hardcover volume of 26 celebrated fairy tales, Maria Tatar's THE ANNOTATED CLASSIC FAIRY TALES takes a somewhat scholarly glance at these familiar short works. For each story, Tartar provides a brief but informative introduction that concisely discusses the genesis of the tale before exploring historical/cultural intricacies of the text, all written in an erudite but easily accessible manner. Many of the stories here are presented in fresh new translations by Tatar herself, sporting numerous lush and beautiful illustrations taken from a variety of sources.
Its a welcome and entertaining volume, but it must be noted that THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT by Bruno Bettelheim examines many of these same tales with far more depth, insight and enthusiasm. Tatar's notes are surprisingly sparse and offer very little real critical analyses of the tales at hand, especially in comparison to such copiously annotated and richly enlightening similar works like THE ANNOTATED MOTHER GOOSE by William & Ceil Baring-Gould or THE ANNOTATED ALICE by Martin Gardner. Nonetheless, this comes highly recommended as a great collection of definitive versions of some of the most beloved fairy tales, accompanied by over 300 often stunning illustrations.