Enchanted Eloquence: Fairy Tales by Seventeenth-Century French Women Writers
Edited and Translated by Lewis C. Seifert and Domna C. Stanton
Awarded the Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries’s “Outstanding Academic Title for 2011.”
In late seventeenth-century France, the conte de fées, or fairy tale, became a fashionable new genre. Although literary history has privileged Charles Perrault’s Mother Goose Tales, it was sophisticated and ironic women who not only inaugurated the vogue but also produced sixty-eight of the one hundred and twelve tales published from 1690 to 1709. These conteuses experimented with various forms of fiction and celebrated women’s writing, all the while criticizing the oppression of marriage and the social strictures placed upon women. This collection presents eight fairy tales (most never before translated into English) by the most prominent women authors: Catherine Bernard, Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Charlotte-Rose de La Force, Marie-Jeanne L’Hériter de Villandon, and Henriette-Julie de Murat. Also included are two critical texts: one praising the conte de fées and the other denouncing it.
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The Editors and Translators:
Lewis C. Seifert is professor of French Studies at Brown University. A specialist of seventeenth-century French literature, he has also worked extensively on folk- and fairy tales. He is the author of Fairy Tales, Sexuality, and Gender in France, 1690-1715: Nostalgic Utopias (1996) and Manning the Margins: Masculinity and Writing in Seventeenth-Century France (2009).
Domna C. Stanton, Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY, is the co-editor of the volume on Gabrielle Suchon for The Other Voice: Chicago series, and the author of Women Writ, Women Writing: Gendered Discourse and Differences in Seventeenth-Century France, forthcoming, 2011.
Renaissance Quarterly, 64:3 (Fall 2011), pp. 945-946. Reviewed by Christine A. Jones.
CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 48:11 (July 2011), p. 2101. Reviewed by C. B. Kerr.
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362 pp / Softcover / 2010 / ISBN978-0-7727-2077-1 / $39.95