Cover image for Folk and fairy tales : a handbook
Folk and fairy tales : a handbook
Ashliman, D. L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
viii, 268 pages: illustrations; . 24 cm.
Introduction -- Definitions and classifications -- Examples and texts -- Scholarship and approaches -- Contexts.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR550 .A77 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Just about everyone is familiar with folk and fairy tales. Children learn about them from parents, teachers, and other adults, while researchers study these tales at colleges and universities. At the same time, folk and fairy tales are inseparable from everyday life and popular culture. Movies, music, art, and literature offer imaginative retellings and interpretations of fairy and folk tales. But despite the pervasiveness of this folklore type, most people have only a vague understanding of these tales. This reference is a convenient introduction to folk and fairy tales for students and general readers.

Written by a leading authority, this handbook offers a broad examination of folk and fairy tales as a folklore type. It looks at tales from around the world and from diverse cultures. The volume defines and classifies folk and fairy tales and analyzes a number of examples. It studies the varied manifestations of fairy and folk tales in literature and culture and reviews critical and scholarly approaches to this folklore genre. The volume also includes a glossary and extensive list of works for further reading.

Author Notes

D. L. ASHLIMAN is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Pittsburgh. His previous publications include Voices from the Past: The Cycle of Life in Indo-European Folktales (1993, 1995), Once upon a Time: The Story of European Folktales (1994), and A Guide to Folktales in the English Language (Greenwood, 1987).

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Aimed at students as well as general readers, this succinct handbook provides a plethora of introductory information about folklore that has evolved from Indo-European folktales. Although there are a number of competing references on the market, this one stands out for its brevity and an intersecting writing style, making it appropriate for a variety of collections. But don't waste your money on it if you already own the more wide-ranging works like the recently revised The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend. Greenwood's is a helpful but supplementary kind of reference. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Third in the "Greenwood Folklore Handbooks," this is a concise, comprehensible introduction to the scholarly study of Indo-European folk and fairy tales. The author first reviews different types of stories and outlines some of the scholarly language used in discussing and classifying them. He then provides 40 short tales arranged by type, including allegory, cautionary tale, parable, and urban legend. Each story is followed by a short commentary and analysis; for example, in one commentary Ashliman compares the original 1812 and final 1857 versions of the Grimms's fairy tale "The Frog King" to demonstrate how the story was altered over time. The author also explores various approaches to analyzing the tales and touches on the contexts in which they appear, such as literature and film. Not so erudite and exhaustive as Jack Zipes's Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (CH, Nov'00), Ashliman's handbook admirably serves its purpose--to make folk and fairy tale study organized and accessible to students. The work includes a useful glossary and an extensive bibliography of print and Web resources. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. E. D. Bochinski Fairfield University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
1 Introductionp. 1
2 Definitions and Classificationsp. 29
3 Examples and Textsp. 61
4 Scholarship and Approachesp. 129
5 Contextsp. 151
Glossaryp. 179
Bibliographyp. 211
Web Resourcesp. 239
Indexp. 257