Feminist Collections of Folktales

Compiled by Tina L. Hanlon
Ferrum College

Back to Appalachian Folktale Bibliography

Note: These anthologies contain tales from many parts of the world, including European predecessors of Appalachian tales (as links in some entries below indicate). They should include more Appalachian tales that feature strong women! Anne Shelby's 2007 book is the only one in this bibliography that is devoted to Appalachian tales. See also Tales of Strong Women in AppLit's Annotated Index of Appalachian Folktales. Many other recent collections of original and revised fairy tales have feminist perspectives, like the volumes edited by Datlow and Windling listed below, but most books on this page are more directly based on oral traditions than collections of literary fairy tales.

Abernethy, Francis Edward. Legendary Ladies of Texas. Publications of the Texas Folklore Society, no. 43. Dallas: E-Heart Press, 1981.

Adhikary, Qiron. Feminist Folktales from India. Masalai Press, 2003. 97 pp. Advertised as a young adult book intended to inspire girls and women with stories of strong and clever women that refute stereotypes of Asian or Indian women.

Allen, Paula Gunn, ed. Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.

Apeles, Teena. Women Warriors: Adventures from History's Greatest Female Fighters. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2003. Biography and folklore.

Barchers, Suzanne I. Wise Women: Folk and Fairy Tales from Around the World. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1990. Contains a version of "Molly Whuppie" from Scotland (see Mutsmag). A number of the U. S. tales in this collection are from the Ozark Mountains.

Battle, Kemp P. Hearts of Fire: Great Women of American Lore and Legend. New York : Harmony Books, 1997. 320 pp. "Battle celebrates a diverse and deeply satisfying array of folk heroines and other great American women - memorable midwives, teachers, medicine women, historians, mothers, spiritual healers, and suffragettes - who represent an astonishing range of experience and give new meaning to the term pioneer. Gathered from books, journals, diaries, newspapers, and letters spanning three centuries, these fascinating stories highlight the American woman's journey toward identity, independence, and self-creation."

Bernheimer, Kate, ed. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales. New York: Anchor Books, 1998. Essays based on fairy tales by 28 writers.

Bruchac, Joseph and Gayle Ross. The Girl Who Married the Moon: Tales from Native North America. Illus. S. S. Burrus. Troll Medallion, 1994. Each of four regional sections in the book contains four tales about Native American female characters, with introductions to their tribal origins and themes. Ross's Introduction and Afterword stress the strong positions held by women in Native American societies and the reverence for traditional stories in Native American culture. She was taught "that stories are living spirits and that the role of the storyteller is to care for the tales in our keeping" (p. 134). Information on origins also given in Afterword, Acknowledgements and Sources bibliography. The Southeastern section contains the Cherokee tale "Stonecoat."

Burch, Milbre, and Gay Ducey. Because I Said So Stories About Mothers and Kids. CD. Little Rock, Ark: August House Audio, 2005. 61 min.

Carter, Angela, ed. The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book. New York: Pantheon, 1990. Includes "Maol a Chliobain" (see Mutsmag), "Now I Should Laugh, If I Were Not Dead" (see The Two Old Women's Bet), "East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon" (see Whitebear Whittington), Mr. Fox from the Ozarks, The Three Sillies from Joseph Jacobs, "Nourie Hadig" from Armenians in Detroit (see Snow White), "Tom Tit Tot" (see Rumpelstiltskin). Also published as The Virago Book of Fairy Tales. London: Virago Press, 1990. Also reprinted with The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1992) in Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales. Illus. Corinna Sargood. London: Virago, 2005.

Carter, Angela, ed.  Strange Things Sometimes Still Happen: Fairy Tales from Around the World. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1993. With introduction by Marina Warner. Appalachian tales labeled "Hillbilly, USA" include "Old Foster" (a tale collected from Isobel Gordon Carter, similar to Mr. Fox), "The Telltale Lilac Bush" (the title tale in R. Musick's WV book; see Appalachian Folktale Collections), "The Witchball" ("an old-fashioned farting story" from Clay County, KY), "Father and Mother Both 'Fast'" (a "joke, which challenges the incest taboo, . . .[with] "bawdy references to adultery and illegitimacy"), "The Beans in the Quart Jar" ("another cuckolded husband joke"). "The Untrue Wife's Son" is a short tale about a woman teaching her husband a lesson, collected in NC. "The Greenish Bird" is an interesting Mexican tale similar to "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (see Whitebear Whittington).

Chinen, A. B. Waking the World: Classic Tales of Women and the Heroic Feminine. New York: Putnam, 1996. Twelve tales collected by a male psychiatrist, many with an emphasis on mature women. Each tale is followed by detailed psychological interpretations. For example, "The Handless Woman: Healing and Wilderness," from Japan, is in the section on Nature. Other sections are Power, Wisdom, Sisterhood, and Journey to a New World.

Clayton, Pomme. Tales of Amazing Maidens. Illus. Sophie Herxheimer. London: Orchard, 1995. 96 pp. Juvenile book with tales retold by Clayton.

Creeden, Sharon. In Full Bloom: Tales of Women in their Prime. Little Rock: August House, 1999. Thirty folktales from around the world about mature women, paired with vignettes on important American women.

Datlow, Ellen, and Terri Windling, ed. Series of fairy tale anthologies for adults: Black Heart, Ivory Bones (New York: Avon, 2000), Silver Birch, Blood Moon (1999), Black Swan, White Raven (1997), Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears (1995), Black Thorn, White Rose (1994), Snow White, Blood Red (1993). These books are not designed as feminist anthologies but many of the contemporary literary fairy tales in them are by and about strong women. In Jane Yolen's 2000 story "Snow in Summer," for example, set in Appalachia, the heroine is less gullible than traditional Snow White and makes unconventional choices.

Dyer, T. F. Thiselton. Folk-Lore of Women As Illustrated by Legendary and Traditionary Tales Folk-Rhymes, Proverbial Sayings, Superstitions, Etc. Williamstown, Mass: Corner House Publishers, 1975.

El-Shamy, Hasan., ed. and transl. Tales Arab Women Tell and the Behavioral Patterns They Portray. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. Over 50 tales from Arab countries with cross-cultural analysis of gender and kinship.

Evetts-Secker, Josephine. Mother and Daughter Tales. An Abbeville anthology. Illus. Helen Cann. New York: Abbeville Kids, 1996. "Demeter and Persephone" (Greek), "The Waterfall of White Hair" (Chinese), "Mother Holle" (German), "Vasilisa the Beautiful" (Russian), "Old Mother Swan and Great Mother Earthquake" (Iroquois), "Snowflake" (Slavic), "The Mother's Mirror" (Japanese), "Katanya" (Turkish), "The Girl and her Godmother" (Norwegian), "Naomi and Ruth" (Jewish).

Forest, Heather. Tales of Womenfolk. Storytelling Circle series. Sound recording, LP, cassette tape, CD. Weston, Conn.: Weston Woods, 1985. Five tales.

Früh, Sigrid, ed. Europäïsche Frauenmärchen [European Tales about Women]. Frankfurt a.M: Fischer, 1996. Expanded edition of Die Frau, die auszog, ihren Mann zu erlösen. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer, 1985.

Goode, Diane. Diane Goode's Book of Giants and Little People. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1997. Not designed as a feminist collection, but a number of the eighteen tales and poems from different parts of the world are by and about strong women and girls, especially the Japanese tall tale "Three Strong Women" and the English tale "Managing Molly" (see Mutsmag).

Halpern, Ruth. She Set Out to Seek Her Fortune: Tales of Adventurous Heroines. Audio recording. Word for Word Storytelling, 1997. 60 min. Four tales. "'A Conversation in Signs' points to the consequences of misinterpretation; 'The Princess on the Glass Hill' intriguingly combines stupid Jack tales and Atalanta's golden apples; and 'The Girl Who Wanted to Learn How to Shiver' is a seeker tale. All the tales are told before a live audience, but in 'Purple Styrofoam,' storyteller Ruth Halpern seamlessly weaves ideas from a group of young girls into a thoughtful and interesting story. Halpern's storytelling is fluid, imaginative, and involving" (from review by Laurie Hartshorn in Booklist, vol. 94, Aug. 1998: p. 2028).

Hamilton, Mary. Sisters All...And One Troll. CD. Frankfort, KY: Hidden Spring, 2005. "Tales of active heroines, 'Kate Crackernuts,' 'Three Sisters and the Troll,' and 'Eleven Cinderellas,'" told by a Kentucky storyteller. Excerpts available at Hamilton's web site. "Eleven Cinderellas" includes an Appalachian one.

Hamilton, Virginia. Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales and True Tales. New York: Scholastic, 1995. See cover and details at Virginia Hamilton web site. See also AppLit's Folklore in Books by Virginia Hamilton.

Hayes, Joe. Watch Out for Clever Women! ¡Cuidado con las Mujeres Astutas! Hispanic Folktales. Illus. Vicki Trego Hill. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press, 1994. Six tales retold in both English and Spanish by a popular New Mexico storyteller, with black and white illustrations. Cinco Puntos Press is a wonderful regional publisher of many bilingual and Southwestern books. Another bilingual tale retold by Hayes, with color illustrations by Gloria Osuna Perez and Lucia Angela Perez, is Little Gold Star/Estrellita de oro: A Cinderella Cuenta (2000, see Ashpet).

Hazen-Hammond, Susan. Spider Woman's Web: Traditional Native American Tales About Women's Power. New York: Berkley Pub. Group, 1999. Includes the Southeastern Cherokee tale "The Worm that Devoured Women."

Hearne, Betsy G., ed. Beauties and Beasts. Illus. Joanne Caroselli. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1993. "Presents several versions of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Cupid and Psyche,' and provides several tales that reverse traditional gender roles. Includes commentary on each tale, activities, bibliographies, and a list of sources." Appalachian tales in this book are "Whitebear Whittington," "A Bunch of Laurel Blooms for a Present," and "The Dough Prince" from WV.

Jones, Raymond E. and John C. Stott, eds. A World of Stories: Traditional Tales for Children. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2006.  Not a feminist anthology but a comprehensive international collection organized by themes. The Topical Index includes the categories "Clever Females" and "Female Saves Male." The book includes "Molly Whuppie" (see Mutsmag), "East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon" (see Whitebear Whittington), "Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett," "Cap o' Rushes," "The Frog Maiden," and others.

Köhler-Zülch, Ines, and Christine Shojaei Kawan. Schneewittchen hat viele Schwestern: Frauengestalten in europïschen Märchen. Beispeile und Kommentar [Snow White has Many Sisters: European Fairy Tales]. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verglashouse Gerd Mohn, 1988.

Lake, Rosemary. Once Upon a Time When the Princess Rescued the Prince. Guerneville, CA: Dragon Tree Press, 2002. "A collection of original and updated fairy tales about smart heroines and featuring lots of magic." Excerpts and new tales are available on Rosemary Lake's web site.

Lansky, Bruce. Happily Ever After: Tales of Clever, Courageous Girls from Around the World. Girls to the Rescue. 1995. Edina, Minn: Spotlight/Meadowbrook Press, 2007. 109 pp.

Lipman, Doug. Folktales of Strong Women. Cassette. Brighton, MA: Yellow Moon Press, 1983. Sound recording.

Lofaro, Michael A., ed. Davy Crockett's Riproarious Shemales and Sentimental Sisters: Women's Tall Tales from the Crockett Almanacs, 1835-1856. Stackpole Books, 2001. Collects and analyzes the numerous stories of courageous and masculine backwoods females from the Almanacs.

Lurie, Alison. Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales. Illus. Margot Tomes. New York: HarperCollins, 1980. Contains a version of "Molly Whuppie" (see Mutsmag), "Hansel and Grethel," and other tales.

McCarty, Toni. The Skull in the Snow, and Other Folktales. Illus. Katherine Coville. New York: Delacorte Press, 1981. Folktales from around the world with female protagonists.

Mathias, Elizabeth, Richard Raspa, and Clementina Todesco. Italian Folktales in America: The Verbal Art of an Immigrant Woman. Wayne State University Folklore Archive study series. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1985. Includes 22 tales as told by Clementina Todesco.

Mayer, Marianna. Women Warriors: Myths and Legends of Heroic Women. Illus. Julek Heller. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1999. "A collection of twelve traditional tales about female military leaders, war goddesses, women warriors, and heroines from around the world, including such countries as Japan, Ireland, and Zimbabwe" (WorldCat).

Minard, Rosemary, ed. Womenfolk and Fairy Tales. Boston: Houghton, 1975. Print.

Muten, Burleigh. Grandmothers' Stories: Wise Woman Tales from Many Cultures. Illus. Sian Bailey. New York: Barefoot Books, 1999. Eight tales from other countries (not US). CD with Olympia Dukakis as narrator, 2001.

Muten, Burleigh. The Lady of Ten Thousand Names: Goddess Stories from Many Cultures. Illus. Helen Cann. New York: Barefoot Books, 2001. Eight myths, including White Buffalo Woman (Lakota).

Parker, K. L., ed. Wise Women of the Dreamtime: Aboriginal Tales of the Ancestral Powers. Commentary by Johanna Lambert. Rochester: Inner Traditions International, 1993. Print.

Phelps, Ethel Johnston, ed. The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World. New York: Holt, 1981. Contains "Gawain and the Lady Ragnell" (see Noteworthy Girls in Jack Tales).

Phelps, Ethel Johnston, ed. Tatterhood and Other Tales. New York: Feminist Press, 1978.

Ragan, Kathleen, ed. Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World. New York: Norton, 1998. The Foreword by Jane Yolen, about the female folk hero's subversion since Victorian times and rediscovery in the late twentieth-century, calls this book "the broadest selection of female hero stories than has been published before," with tales "from all corners of the globe" (xviii).

Riordan, James. The Woman in the Moon and Other Tales of Forgotten Heroines. Illus. Angela Barrett. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1985. Contents from WorldCat: "The Woman in the Moon" (Chippewa, North America), "A Mother's Yarn" (Saami, Lappland [Lapland]), "The Nagging Husband" (Tallinn, Estonia), "Gulnara the Tartar Warrior" (Tartar, border region of west Siberia and Mongolia), "Caterina the Wise" (Sicily, Italy), "Oona and the Giant Cuchulain" (Ireland), "Aina-kizz and the Black-bearded Bai" (Soviet Central Asia), "A Pottle o' Brains" (Lincolnshire, England), "The Maid who Chose a Husband" (Ghana), "Three Strong Women" (Japan), "The Wonderful Pearl" (Vietnam), "The Squire's Bride" (Norway), "The Aztec Sun Goddess" (Aztec).

Ross, Eulalie Steinmetz, ed. The Blue Rose: A Collection of Stories for Girls. Illus. Enrico Arno. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. 186 pp. Thirteen fairy tales from older sources, including literary fairy tales such as "The Seventh Princess" and "Nella's Dancing Shoes" by Eleanor Farjeon, "Clever Grethel" by Walter de la Mare, "The Rat-Catcher's Daughter" and "Gammelyn, the Dressmaker" by Laurence Housman, "The Princess and the Vagabone" by Ruth Sawyer, and tales by Howard Pyle, George MacDonald, Hans Christian Andersen, and others. "Whitebear Whittington" from Richard Chase's Grandfather Tales is an Appalachian tale in this book, with a full-page drawing of the heroine riding on the white bear with three children. This is the oldest collection of folk and fairy tales for girls in this bibliography. There is no introduction or other notes, but the Afterword says, "This book, as the title page says, is especially for girls. I hope those who read it will take a special feminine delight in the stories I have included in it. I have told these stories to many girls, and the telling and the listening have been a shared pleasure. Perhaps other storytellers may find this a useful sampler when they, too, need a story for girls" (186). Farjeon's "The Seventh Princess" (from The Little Bookroom, 1955) is about a sad Gypsy woman, imprisoned by the king she married, who manages to make her seventh daughter independent, free of conventional concerns about appearance, birthright, and royal marriage. "Clever Grethel" is about a servant who gets away with drinking while her master isn't looking and eating two delicious chickens she has prepared, by convincing her master his guest, who arrives late, is mad and convincing the guest the master is murderous.

Rush, Barbara. The Book of Jewish Women's Tales. Northvale, NJ: J. Aronson, 1994. Print. 307 pp.

San Souci, Robert D. Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale. Introduction by Jane Yolen. New York: Puffin, 1993. Fifteen tales arranged to represent five regions. The three Southern tales are all African American. "Molly Cottontail," from Anne Virginia Culberson's At the Big House, has a setting with swamps and hollers.

San Souci, Robert D. Sister Tricksters: Rollicking Tales of Clever Females. Illus. Daniel San Souci. New York: Holiday House, 2006. "These eight stories, featuring characters like Molly Cottontail, Miz Grasshopper, and Miz Goose, are energetically retold from Anne Virginia Culbertson's long out-of-print At the Big House....This book warrants a place in all folklore collections" (from School Library Journal review).

Schutz-Gruber, Barbara G., reteller. Still a Bit of Sugar, but Even More Spice: More Stories of Gutsy Girls and Wise Women. CD sound recording. Ann Arbor, Mich: BGSG Storytelling, 1999. "Presents an international collection of traditional stories updated for a live audience of elementary school-aged children," with instrumental music. Includes "Molly and the Giant (26:42), "The Insatiable Pumpkin (15:08), "Different as Night and Day" (15:18). Perhaps "Molly and the Giant" is an Irish tale or the same story retold by Kurt Werth in his 2007 book (see Summaries of Tales Related to "Mutsmag").

Shelby, Anne. The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales. Illus. Paula McArdle. Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 2007. A storyteller and writer from southeastern KY, Shelby adapts Joseph Jacobs' British "Molly Whuppie" in "The Adventures of Molly Whuppie" and observes that her title tale is also based on the Appalachian "Merrywise" collected by Leonard Roberts (along with some links to "Mutsmag"). She adapts other tales from Appalachia, with elements from European and Japanese tales, in this collection of 14 tales, most of which feature Molly as a "clever, brave, and strong" hero (book jacket) who triumphs over giants and other obstacles. For more on this book, see Appalachian Folktale Collections K-Z.

Shepard, Aaron. Author Online! Aaron Shepard's Home Page includes the full texts of a number of stories of strong women, with introductory annotations highlighting this theme. The stories are written or adapted by Shepard, in formats for storytelling or Reader's Theater, as well as some full-length audio recordings by Shepard. The site also includes resources for storytellers, researchers, and child authors.

Sullivan, Jenny. Celtic Heroines. Llandysul: Gomer, 2002. 95 pp. Welsh folklore.

Tatar, Maria, ed. The Classic Fairy Tales. A Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1999. Not designed as a feminist collection, but most of the tales and some of the criticism included are important in their treatment of gender roles. Includes, among others, variants of "Cinderella" and Catskin, (see also Ashpet), Snow White, "Beauty and the Beast" (see Whitebear Whittington), "Molly Whuppie" (see Mutsmag), "The Frog King," "The Three Little Pigs," and "Bluebeard" (see Pretty Polly). Contains excellent background on individual tales and traditional and modern adaptations and interpretations.

Tchana, Katrin. The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women. Illus. Trina Schart Hyman. Boston: Little, Brown, 2000.  

Thomas, Ann G. The Women We Become: Myths, Folktales, and Stories About Growing Older. Rocklin, CA: Prima Pub., 1997.

Yolen, Jane, ed. Gray Heroes: Elder Tales From Around The World. New York: Penguin, 1999. The 75 tales address the need for stories with positive images of older women as well as men. The book is described at this link along with other recipients of the Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award.

Yolen, Jane, ed. Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls. Illus. Susan Guevara. New York: Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2000. Thirteen tales from different countries. Yolen's notes on "Molly Whuppie" mention the American Mutsmag. "Fitcher's Bird" has parallels with "Bluebeard" and Pretty Polly or Mister Fox. "Pretty Penny" is an Ozark Mountain tale about a sixteen-year-old who outsmarts a robber and gets his fortune for her lazy father. See also Yolen's Mightier than the Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys. Illus. Raul Colón. New York: Silent Whistle/Harcourt, 2003. These tales, which contain smart girls as well as heroic boys, show that "It is not only the sword that wields power, but the mind, the heart, and the will."

Yolen, Jane. Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World. Illus. Christine Joy Pratt. Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008. These are historical stories with background notes and a bibliography, but the pirates are the subject of folklore as well.

Yolen, Jane and Heidi E. Y. Stemple. Mirror, Mirror: Forty Folktales for Mothers and Daughters to Share. New York: Penguin, 2000.  A collection compiled by a mother and daughter, arranged by theme, with conversation sections by Jane and Heidi. Includes variants of "Cinderella" (see Ashpet) and "Snow White." Don't Bet on the Prince CoverThe section labeled "Persephone" includes the Cherokee tale "The Sun's Daughter," pp. 96-98. See AppLit pages on The Little People and Dancing Drum - or -The Daughter of the Sun.

Zipes, Jack, ed. Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England. New York: Routledge, 1987. Old and new tales and critical essays by several important critics.

Zipes, Jack, ed. The Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales. Illus. Stephanie Poulin. New York: Bantam, 1994. "Molly Mullet" (1975) by Patricia Coombs is about a small girl who defeats a giant, very much like "Molly Whuppie" or Mutsmag without any selfish sisters. John Gardner's satiric "Gudgkin the Thistle Girl" (1976) and Tanith Lee's "Princess Dahli" (1972) use the plot of "Cinderella" (see Ashpet).

Related Resources

Note: There is a wealth of other resources available on images of girls and women in folktales of the world. Below are a few items that contain some mention of Appalachian tales. See also Background Resources on Appalachian Folktales.

"Active Heroines in Folktales." Updated from Just Enough to Make a Story: A Sourcebook for Storytellers by Nancy Schimmel (Sisters' Choice, 1992). Sisters' Choice Web Site. http://www.sisterschoice.com/heroines.html. Includes a bibliography of feminist tales, which lists Chase's Ashpet and Mutsmag, and Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack (Dial, 1986), a tale from a western Tenn. author, similar to "Little Red Riding Hood."

"Brave, Active and Resourceful Females in Picture Stories." Bibliography prepared by the children's librarians of the Berkeley Public Library. 1996-97. http://www.infopeople.org/bpl/kids/strwomen.html.

Cinderella Bibliography. Detailed annotations of a wide range of tales, by Russell A. Peck.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Ed. Donald Haase. Vol. 1. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2008. Contains entries on Feminism, Feminist Tales, etc.

Hanlon, Tina L. "Strong Women in Appalachian Folktales." The Lion & the Unicorn, vol. 24 (April 2000):  pp. 225-46.  Earlier version in Proceedings of the Virginia Humanities Conference, April 1994. Christopher Newport U, 1994. Available online at this link through Project Muse.

Locke, Liz, Theresa A. Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill. Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2009.

Mikkelsen, Nina. "Strange Pilgrimages: Cinderella Was a Trickster—and Other Unorthodoxies of American and African-American Heroic Folk Figures." A Necessary Fantasy? The Heroic Figure in Children's Popular Culture. Ed. Dudley Jones and Tony Watkins. Children's Literature and Culture Series, vol. 18. New York: Garland, 2000, pp. 24-50. Includes discussion of Ashpet and other Appalachian folk heroes.

Stone, Kay. "Things Walt Disney Never Told Us." The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 88, No. 347, Women and Folklore (Jan. - Mar. 1975), pp. 42-50. Available online through JSTOR. Stone compared male and female roles in European and American collections of folktales, and interviewed 40 North American women who recall being influenced by traditional fairy tales with passive heroines. Among more "aggressive" and "violent" Anglo-American heroines, she mentions "Polly, Nancy, and Muncimeg," collected by Leonard Roberts. He "introduces a number of Kentucky heroines who do not fit the European stereotypes." Randolph's Ozark and Roberts' Appalachian versions of "Cinderella" "would have made Disney's hair curl" (45). "We see . . . what we have lost by taking our heroines from Grimm and Disney rather than from the tales of our own heritage" (49). Stone observes that tales such as "Mally Whuppee" and "Muncimeg" do not contain "the stereotyped conflict between the passive, beautiful woman and the aggressive, ugly one," that "most of the active heroines are not even described in terms of their natural attributes. . . . Like heroes, they are judged by their actions. Though most do marry, their weddings are no more central to the tale than is the concluding marriage of most heroes. Some husbands are even won as passive prizes, in the same way that princesses are won by heroes in many tales. Most important, active heroines are not victims of hostile forces beyond their control but are, instead, challengers who confront the world rather than waiting for success to fall at their pretty feet. Unfortunately, heroines of this sort are not numerous in oral tales, and do not exist at all in any of the Grimm tales or the [pre-1975] Disney films" (46). Reprinted with other essays in Stone, Kay F. Some Day Your Witch Will Come. Series in fairy-tale studies. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008.

Feminist Fairy Tales. List by Nancy J. Keane, 2001.

Heidi Ann Heiner's Sur La Lune Fairy Tale Pages is an outstanding web site for finding variants (traditional ones and modern spin-offs) of many particular fairy tales, and related resources.

This bibliography created 1999. Last update: 4/29/15
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