Friday, October 1, 2010

Banned Books Week: Children's and Household Tales

Welcome to Banned Books Week on Fairy Layers! While not all of my selections are strictly fairy tale adaptations, I have made an effort to include books with fairy tales themes and tropes. All of the books selected for BBW (September 25th - October 2nd) have been banned or challenged for various reasons. I hope you enjoy!

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you to read that book challenges are not a recent phenomenon. Thomas Bowdler made a name for himself by editing Shakespeare into editions that would be considered more suitable for women and children. And the Brothers Grimm, from their first collection of folk tales in 1812, spent the next 7 editions of their book adding and removing stories and content in response to reviews that said that too many of their stories were inappropriate for children, in spite of the collection's name, Children's and Household Tales.

Fortunately, a lot of the editions available today include the original, bloodier and grimmer, versions of the tales.

Even recently, the collection or stories from the collection have continued to be challenged. In 1989, an illustrated edition of Little Red Riding Hood was banned from two school districts--and do you suppose it was because the story was too scary? There was too much symbolism of growing up and predatory sexual circumstances?? The wolf was gay???


It was because Little Red was depicted as carrying a bottle of wine to her grandmother.

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