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Why are fairytales so called?

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Famous fairies

Why are fairy tales so called?

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fairies by Vipasha

As we know, fairytales are not always about fairies. So, why do we call these tales fairy tales? Why not just wonder tales, as they were earlier known?

Well, such stories became very popular in France towards the end of the 17th century. Writers such as Mme D'Aulnoy began to put these tales into literary form; Antoine Galland translated and adapted into French The Thousand and One Nights; and Charles Perrault published his famous Tales of Mother Goose which included Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood among others. The French writers coined the term 'conte de fee' to describe such stories. This term translates into English as 'fairy tale'. Hence we call such wonder tales 'fairy tales'.

'Fairies' by Vipasha Bansal.


Find out more:   What is a fairy?  |   Kinds of fairies


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Last updated: April 2010.
Site Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. Illustrations copyright © Vipasha Bansal. All rights reserved.

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