The History Major in me demands I include a page dedicated to the sources I’ve used…Therefore, I have acquiesced. Happy reading!
Graham Anderson. Fairytale in the Ancient World . New York: Routledge, 2000.
This is truly spoke to the mythological historian in me! It goes through various fairy tales and pairs them up with ancient myths. It is scholarly, yet a good and easy read.
Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Women’s Work: the First 20,000 Years. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994.
This is one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. In our society, we’ve forgotten that weaving was an integral part of a woman’s identity; but our stories have not. We cannot understand our stories unless we can see them from our ancestor’s point of view; this book gives us a glimpse into their world.
Bruno Bettelheim. The Use of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York, NY: Vintage Books, division of Random House, Inc., 2010, 1975.
He uses Freud to explain fairy tales. I disagreed with almost everything he said, but since he is supposed to be one of the great child psychologists of the 20th century, I thought I should include his work here.
Ruth B. Bottigheimer. Fairy Tales: A New History. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2009.
A fascinating look at fairy tales through history, she follows the paper trail left by publishing records from the 1500s to modern day. Her thesis is that the fairy tale formula was created in the climate of 16th century Venice and were literary tales first and oral tales second.
Sheldon Cashdan. The Witch Must Die: How Fairy Tales Shape Our Lives. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999.
He sees fairy tales as describing certain childhood “sins” that should be overcome. It was a fairly interesting read, although I found it curious that he constantly used the word “sin” without any mention of Christ; what saves us, in his view, is the telling of the stories for they remind us that we can overcome the sin described in the fairy tale.
John Eldredge. Epic: The Story God is Telling. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004.
This short book has impacted how I see day-to-day life – and since my life is characterized by stories, it taught me how to look at life.
John Eldredge. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001.
Although this book is geared for men, I read it anyway. It has influenced how I see the fall in the Garden of Eden, as well as the roles of men and women since then.
John & Staci Eldredge. Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005.
The woman’s companion book to Wild at Heart. Its themes are similar to its predecessor, but focuses on women.
Meri Lao. Sirens: Symbols of Seduction. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1998.
Meri Lao has written a fascinating book on the origins and history of sirens/mermaids. I found it extremely helpful and influential in my thinking. However, a word of caution: this book contains sensitive material. Although interesting, some of the pictures are rather suggestive. We’re dealing with mermaids, after all.
Barbara Sjoholm. The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O’Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea. Berkley, CA: Seal Press, 2004.
This book was certainly interesting, but it is not about Grace O’Malley. It has a variety of stories, but is more about the author’s journey in figuring out her own identity. It does has useful information about little known stories, including “Turkish Gudda” which I talk about in my “Maidens of the Deep” series.
Jack Zipes. The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
Jack Zipes is always a pleasure to read, and this is no different. I do admit, I only read the section on Sleeping Beauty, but found it chock-full of wonderful thoughts.
Jack Zipes. Spells of Enchantment: The Wondrous Fairy Tales of Western Culture. New York, NY: Viking Books, 1991.
This is a collection of more “modern” fairy tales, in all their disillusioned glory. The introduction is wonderful, however.