This exciting and comprehensive anthology—the first anthology of German women's fairy tales in English—presents a variety of published and archival fairy tales from 1780 to 1900. These authors of these stories used fairy tales to explain their own lives, to teach children, to examine history, and to critique society and the status quo. Powerful and conflicted females are queens, girls on quests, mothers, daughters, magical wisewomen, and midwives to the fairies; they love, hate, murder, save children, fight tyranny, overcome cannibals, and rescue the working poor.
Jeannine Blackwell's introduction places the tales in their historical, social, and critical context, and Shawn C. Jarvis's afterword presents a thematic analysis of the texts and approaches to reading them in conjunction with other European and American tales.
"English translations of German fairy tales written by men have existed for years. . . . But German tales by women have been overlooked. This handsome volume neatly fills that gap."—Choice
"In this outstanding anthology, the editors/translators present a cross-section of tales by German-speaking women from various walks of life. The opening story . . . also the first known fairy tale in German by a woman, was written in 1784 by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. . . . In general, characters here encounter different interactions and transformations than in the traditional fairy tales. Rather than being the stereotypical submissive types, cast out by the evil stepmother or 'sent out into the world,' many of these female characters actively participate in fantastic and magical experiences."—Library Journal
"The tales in The Queen's Mirror open a window into the literary culture of nineteenth-century Germany, telling of the quest for romance, wealth, power, justice, and, most importantly, a way home. While women writers produced fairy tales with an astonishing range and play, their work has been effaced by the popular success of the Grimms' fairy tales. With this ambitious archaeological project, Jarvis and Blackwell reclaim stories that are up close and personal, but also culturally symptomatic, broadening our understanding of the anxieties and desires of an earlier era."—Maria Tatar, author of Classic Fairy Tales
"An impressive and very useful anthology that bring to light a literature too long in the shadows. The editors have selected engaging and oftentimes remarkable tales that gain resonance through insightful contextualization. The translations are of fluid prose and offer comfortable reading."—Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies
Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies