Jack Zipes has put together one of the comprehensive anthologies of feminist fairy tales and essays to appear since the women's movement gained momentum in the 1960s. He has selected works by such gifted writers as Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Tanith Lee, Jay Williams, Jane Yolen, Anne Sexton, Olga Broumas and Joanna Russ - all of whom, whether they consider themselves "feminists" or not, have written innovative stories which seek to break with the classical tradition of fairy tales. The accompanying critical essays, by Marcia Lieberman, Sandra Gilbert, Susan Gubar and Karen Rowe, discuss how fairy tales play an important role in early socialisation, influencing the manner in which children perceive the world and their place in it even before they begin to read. "Don't Bet on the Prince" was created out of dissatisfaction with the dominant male discourse of traditional fairy tales and with the sexist social values and institutions which it supports. This book demonstrates how recent male and female writers, by looking at the classical literary fairy tale with new eyes, have changed the aesthetic constructs and social content of fairy tales in order to reflect the major changes in the roles of sex, gender, socialisation and education since the 1960s. It is an excellent example of how the literature of fantasy and imagination can be harnessed to create a new view of the world. "Don't Bet on the Prince" is for all those interested in questioning the traditional values and expectations by which our perceptions of ourselves are formed. It will be of special interest to those concerned with the feminist movement, women's studies and the growing feminist sensibility in fantasy literature. Its tales will also appeal to children, and the child in every adult.
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