Fairy Tales

Charles Dickens wrote about Fairy Tales: 
"In an utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairytales should be respected."

Information about Fairy Stories, Tales, Authors and all the pages on this site has been gathered from many sites on the internet. For the most part, I have interpreted and written my opinions in my own words about the information I gathered. The actual Tales are copies of the original tales and I have noted the source.

Where do Fairy Tales come from?

The term Fairy Tales  comes from the french term 'contes de fée' which translates into Fairy Tales.  This term was invented by   Madame d'Aulnoy

Fairy tales started as oral stories taken from folklore, legends and myths. They have been told to children and adults since before recorded history. The origin of these fantasy tales, or any of these types of oral stories, is impossible to determine. This oral handing down from generation to generation came long before the written page. Tales were taught or acted out for each of the new generations. We do know that ancient cultures from all over the globe have similar stories. Ancient Egypt,  has the oldest known written Fairy story that dates back to 1300 BC.

Two different theories exist on how similarities can exist between  fairytales stories from different cultures and even different continents. One theory is that a particular tale started from one point and then over hundreds of years spread across cultures and continents. The second theory is that fairy stories are from similar experiences that humans have in most all cultures across all continents.

Préciosité is a literary style that comes from les précieuses, the witty and educated intellectual ladies of Paris.  The précieuses wrote their stories mainly for adults but knew that servants or women less privileged would repeat these stories to children. "Beauty and the Beast" was written by Madame Gabrielle de Villeneuve, in La jeune ameriquaine, et les contes marins in 1740. One of the précieuses, Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont rewrote "Beauty and the Beast" so as to be more suitable for children and this version, published in 1756 is the tale that is most popular today.

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