The Classic fairy tales / [compiled by] Iona and Peter Opie.

  • Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press 1992
Physical description
255 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm.
  • 0192115596
  • Originally published: 1974.
  • Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-247) and index.
Other names
  • Illustrated
  • English
  • We have all been enchanted, thrilled, and even terrified by fairy tales, and no child is brought up without learning the story of Cinderella or Red Ridinghood. The most popular tales have long histories, in the course of which successive editors have not only shortened, bowdlerized, and sentimentalized them but also slanted them according to the demands of the time. In this book twenty-four of the best-known tales are given in their original form, either as they were first printed in English, or in their earliest surviving text. Each tale has a historical introduction, showing the development of the story and noting particular points of interest. Was Cinderella's shoe really a glass slipper or was it made of fur? Was Red Ridinghood devoured by the wolf, or was she saved? How did the old woman in Southey's version of 'The Three Bears' become the Goldilocks we know today? In a general introduction Iona and Peter Opie look at the realism as well as the enchantment in the tales, and put into perspective the contributions of Perrault, the Grimm brothers, and Hans Christian Andersen. The book contains 150 illustrations, over 40 in colour, by famous illustrators such as Walter Crane, George Cruikshank, Gustave Dore, Kate Greenaway, Arthur Rackham, W. Heath Robinson, and Rex Whistler.

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