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European Fairy Tales from the Renaissance to the Late Victorian Era

The Child of the Fairy Tale

Mehrdad F. Samadzadeh

This book explores the interplay of childhood and the fairy tale as they both changed character in accordance with the historical transformations of the mid-nineteenth century. While the fairy tale was instrumental in the social construction of childhood, the latter for its part played an equally crucial role in altering the narrative structure of the fairy tale. So viewed, the story of childhood is closely intertwined with the fairy tale, and both with modernity as it changed its focus with the changing direction of the civilizing process. The liberating potential of modernity emerges when a broad spectrum of the marginalized, including children, begin to assert themselves and gain recognition as independent subjects of historical inquiry.