Cover image for When dreams came true : classical fairy tales and their tradition
When dreams came true : classical fairy tales and their tradition
Zipes, Jack, 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 238 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN3437 .Z57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN3437 .Z57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Jack Zipes is Professor of German at the University of Minnesota and one of the leading folklorists and critics of children's literature in the U.S. He is the author of many books, including Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, Don't Bet on the Prince, Breaking the Magic Spell, Creative Storytelling, and Happily Ever After, all published by Routledge.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Zipes has forged a career out of brilliant and subversive analyses of fairy tales. Here he gathers in somewhat recast form previously published introductions and afterwords and turns them into a scholarly but lucid text, with enchanting illustrations from compilations through the centuries. The rise of the literary fairy tale came about in seventeenth-century France in the salons of aristocratic women, who told stories based on the folktales of their childhood, but the truly ancient Arabian Nights tales deeply colored everything that followed their introduction in Europe in the eighteenth century. Zipes relates the lives of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen as metaphors of class struggle and knowing one's place as played out in the tales they constructed and related. Chapters on Oscar Wilde, Frank Baum, Collodi (Pinocchio), the now-forgotten Frank Stockton, and Herman Hesse follow a nimble analysis of the delayed development of the literary fairy tale in Victorian England. Intelligent and thoughtful fun, without deconstructing the land of Faerie into dust and ashes. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Since publishing Don't Bet on the Prince a decade ago, Zipes has established himself as the preeminent popularizer of the social and psychological uses of fairy tales for a contemporary audience. The 11 essays collected here are revised and updated introductions and afterwords written by Zipes for his books dealing with fairy and folk literature. His aim in updating and reissuing this material is to highlight the historical role that fairy tales, both oral and written, play in socializing and civilizing their audience. Backed by scholarly research and cross-cultural references, the essays describe how a privileged, educated minority has used fairy tales to defend and maintain its status while incorporating and perpetuating the belief that the poor could triumph over the ruling class through cunning and moral integrity. Zipes's main thesis is that fairy tales are a dynamic mixture of upper- and lower-class values that at once reinforce a society's class structure and, with subtlety and humor, show the emperor's nakedness without upsetting the status quo. The chapters on fairy tale creators Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Herman Hesse and Americans Frank Stockton and L. Frank Baum connect these writers' outsider status with their use of the fairy tale to explore nonconformism and to voice their opposition to hypocrisy, commercialism and war. Of primary interest to students of children's literature, the book may also appeal to readers concerned with social history, although the links between these disparate pieces are not as solidly forged as they might have been had Zipes written a single cohesive study of the subject. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

With almost two dozen books on fairy tales, Zipes (Univ. of Minnesota) is perhaps the best-recognized and most prolific US scholar on the subject. The present volume brings together previously published introductions and afterwords from his own work and the work of others and serves as a useful overview for beginner and researcher alike. Zipes intends this volume as a framework for a much-needed and yet-to-be-written book: a social history of the literary fairy tale. Spanning Europe and North America, the 17th to the 20th centuries, the 11 essays include three concise and comprehensive surveys--a chapter (from Zipes's edited volume Spells of Enchantment, 1991) on fairy tales in general, two others on French and British Victorian tales. The author also includes chapters on The Arabian Nights, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Carlos Collodi, Frank Stockton, L. Frank Baum, and Hermann Hesse. Zipes's usual Marxist, feminist approach is fully in evidence. Even libraries that own the books from which these pieces are drawn will find this a worthwhile, convenient acquisition. The extraordinarily comprehensive bibliography comprises 20 pages of primary and secondary sources. The illustrations are disappointing--black-and-white and murky. Strongly recommended for all collections. E. R. Baer Gustavus Adolphus College