What better way to spend a cold, dreary day in March then at the state library?!?
I spent the better half of my day scouring a couple old books researching about the origins of fairy tales. To say the least it was interesting and an enlightening. This adventure has been brewing for quite some time and I am finally getting going with it.
It all started…. Well, lemme just give you the abridged version: I wanted to do a read around the world tour. Reading and exploring different children’s literature in other countries, with the hopes of creating a cultural reading club of sorts for my school.
This particular adventure had to start somewhere and after seeing the new Beauty and the Beast movie (pretty awesome, btw), I took off running with the fairy tale idea. While my research today did not turn up anything about Beauty and the Beast per say, I did learn a lot about the topic.
First and foremost (if you don’t already know) fairy tales started just tales being told. They were passed down from mother to child, storyteller to those who would listen, and so on.
The history of all this has theories based in how man has evolved. Starting with the most savage of mans and primal thinking and moves into a stage where fairy tales come from. Do to a mindset that all things are alive and have spirits we get the misguided characters we have come to know and love. (There are also a lot of religious undertones in the development and history to how these stories have evolved. That while quite fascinating, I will not get into here).
With that being the case, most stories do not have an original author and there are many variations to the stories we know.
We have Charles Perrault, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christen Anderson, and others to thank for that. Again they did not come up with these stories but modified and wrote them based on folk tales of their time and country. (It could also be said that they worked off of each other as well depending on the scenario. I.E. The Brothers Grimm could have been influenced by Perrault).
I also learned about the classification system of fairy tales, and different cycles of the variations.
Once I finally processed everything and sat back and thought, my mind flew. As a teacher there were so many directions I could take with this. My mind flew into the possibilities. There is still so much more for me to digest.
This adventure is not over, I will venture out to the library again. (BTW that was a different experience as well… more on that later.) I am hoping my research will take me elsewhere. There are some books in some universities that I want to read so ROADTRIP!
The books I read(ish) today:
The Folklore of Fairy Tales by Macleod Yearsley (1924, London)
A Study of Fairy Tales By Laura Kready (1916, Boston)
The Science of Fairy Tales by Edwin Hartland (1891, London)
Here’s my Plan:
1.Continue to learn about Fairy Tale History
2. Continue to learn about the value of fairy tales as a base in children’s literature
3. Choose stories to run with for further development in my own knowledge ( including learning about the countries they come from)
Whelp that is it for now. Will write a post on the awkwardness of going to the state library later.
Makin it Work