- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 18, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198601158
- ISBN-13: 978-0198601159
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.6 x 6.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales 0th Edition
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This comprehensive guide is as wonderfully thorough and cross-referenced as we've come to expect from the Oxford Companions, and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any lover of children's literature or films. Arranged alphabetically, The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales covers authors, illustrators, individual titles, and countries of origin for the fairy tales of Europe, from medieval times through the era of Walt Disney. Each entry is handily marked with asterisks when there's a related section to read; "The Little Mermaid" has asterisks highlighting both Hans Christian Anderson and Disney, while the larger section of Victorian Fairy Painting has 19 asterisks in its three pages of text. While authors and stories generally don't get more than a few paragraphs of detail, you'll find the quantity of entries most impressive. Beyond standard fairy tales, authors of classic children's literature and adult fantasy are often included, if their works rely in any way on earlier myths or tales--Terry Pratchett and Maurice Sendak are two examples. Larger sections devoted to regional differences are lengthy and fascinating, and they include Portugal, Spain, France, North America, Britain, and Italy. The book also has plenty of illustrations. While they're all in black and white, the variety of artistic styles is wonderful, and each plate is large enough to show charming details of giants, maidens, witches, and all the classic characters of these beloved stories. Whether your heart lies with Edward Gorey or Kate Greenaway, you're sure to enjoy the facts behind your favorite tale. --Jill Lightner
From Library Journal
The M?rchen, or fairy tale, is widely defined as a fictitious narrative with a human main character; it includes fantasy and is told as a means of instruction and/or entertainment. Born out of oral tradition, the tales contain many thought-provoking layers, including ancient incredulities, archetypical fears, contemporary folk beliefs, exquisite superstition, heartfelt wishes, and social commentary. This well-documented volume contains 800 signed entries authored by 67 authorities from around the world. No actual tales are included; instead, this reference is an illuminating collection of brief essays on classic tales, both modern and ancient. In alphabetical order, the companion profiles noted authors, illustrators, filmmakers, choreographers, and composers; more broadly, it covers film, art, opera, ballet, music, and commercial use. Zipes, a major authority on the subject, lets readers explore the development of the fairy-tale tradition in various countries, paying special attention to European and American writings. Attractive, well written, and approachable, this solid guide to the fairy-tale world is without equal. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.
-Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This volume is especially strong. however, in that it recognizes the contributions of composers, artists and film directors and their work to the fairy tale tradition. The entries are fascinating and do not require any expertise in the field. Items are indexed in a manner that it is easy to find what you are looking for - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is under "Snow White" - that may seem self-evident but with the number of varients of fairy tales that is not always so simple.
There are longer articles on the various regions and the general flavor and history of fairy tales in the region. These provide a broad overview that is most useful.
Opening at random to give a flavor of the entries: Charles Kingsley for his The Water-Babies; Rudyard Kipling for Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies; Sarah Kirsch for her retelling of Grimm tales in prose and poetry; Kismet the musical; Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen author of 15 children's books; Janusz Korczah for a recent utopian fairy-tale novel.
This book is a significant contribution. I should hope for a second edition to close some of the holes. [Of course, I'd like a similar volume for the rest of the world AND a volume for animal fables ...]
There are also entries on composers, opera, operetta, ballet, illustrators, film, television and science fiction. Generously scattered throughout are full-page (and smaller) illustrations by artists such as Gustav Dore, Kay Nielsen, Walter Crane, W.W. Denslow and Arthur Rackham. And special sections trace in detail the development of fairy tales in various countries.
This well-written, well-edited guide is a must for anyone with an interest in fairy tales.