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31:3 Book Reviews general, the cunent introduction is strong when sketching in the historical background and surveying the thematic content of the selection, less precise when it comes to discussing formal elements. As for scholarly appartus for the volume, there is precious little. How often these days do we see publishers label their anthologies "selected and introduced by," and we wonder where have aU the editors gone. One minor effect of this change is that footnote material must now go into the introduction, as when Orel gives a one-quarter page parenthesis affirming that Doyle's "Brazilian Cat" could not possibly have been a puma. The subversion of the editor also costs us a chance to see the provenance of the stories, other than the year the story was published. Given Orel's emphasis on publishing history and on the audience's role in developing the genre, we might at least expect to know which journals the stories were originally published in. But—to return to the issue broached at the outset—the main question remains this: if Orel was the selector of the set, was he also titler of the volume? Thirteen of the seventeen stories date from 1880 on, eleven from 1890 on. I move we retitle the volume Late Victorian Short Stories : An Anthology, thereby crowning an heir to Hal Gerber's 1967 collection, The English Short Story in Transition 1880-1920. Michael Case Boise State University VICTORIAN FAIRY TALES Jack Zipes, ed. Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves. New York: Metheun, 1987. Cloth $40.00 Paper $25.00 In his study of fairy tales, Breaking the Magic Spell, Jack Zipes distinguishes between folk tales in the oral tradition and literary fairy tales or Kunstm ärchen. The oral tale, Zipes argues, appeals to a popular, peasant or working-class audience while the literary tale is designed for an audience of middle-class children and their parents. In Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves Zipes has collected twenty-two literary fairy tales published in England between 1839 and 1902. With its helpful introduction, biographical notes, and extensive bibliography Victorian Fairy Tales is one of those unusual books that appeals equally to the scholar and to the reader for pleasure. Stories by Dickens, Lewis Canoll, Kipling, Kenneth Grahame, Ruskin, and Wilde will be refreshing to those who know these writers primarily by their longer or more famous works. Too, Victorian Fairy Tales can easily serve the purpose for which many of these stories were originally intended—reading aloud to school-age children. In his introduction, as in his earlier book on fairy tales, Zipes discusses how the literary fairy tale reflects and seeks to shape social mores and values. He notes that while the literary fairy tale became very popular in Europe during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the genre was considered 377 31:3 Book Reviews suspect in England both on Calvinist and on Utilitarian grounds. General middle-class approval of fairy tales as proper reading for children was not possible until English romantic writers, including Southey, Lamb, and Coleridge , had created a shift in taste. Even then fairy tales in translation prepared the way for native English texts. Although a strong party still opposed the fairy tale as idle amusement, others lüce Charles Dickens came to defend the genre as an antidote to educational methods and social pressures that stifled children's imaginations. Victorian readers unsympathetic to this defense of fantasy still could turn to the numerous didactic fairy tales of the period. In his editorial comments Zipes explores two social uses of Victorian fairy tales; he distinguishes between those tales designed primarily to reinforce good middle-class virtues such as honesty, diligence, and respect for social constraints and those that criticized British society or offered a Utopian alternative to a deeply flawed culture. The two stories that most purely represent this dichotomy are Harriet Louisa Childe-Pemberton's "AU My Doing, Or Red Riding-Hood Over Again" and Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince." "AU My Doing" would hardly be recognizable as a fairly tale were it not for its subtitle; it is not an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 377-379
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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