This volume offers a comprehensive critical and theoretical introduction to the genre of the fairy tale. It:
- explores the ways in which folklorists have defined the genre
- assesses the various methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of fairy tale
- provides a detailed account of the historical development of the fairy tale as a literary form
- engages with the major ideological controversies that have shaped critical and creative approaches to fairy tales in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
- demonstrates that the fairy tale is a highly metamorphic genre that has flourished in diverse media, including oral tradition, literature, film, and the visual arts.