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The Science of Fairy Tales An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology   By: (1848-1927)

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"The Science of Fairy Tales: An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology" by Edwin Sidney Hartland is a compelling exploration of the cultural significance and origins of fairy tales. Hartland's extensive research and insightful analysis shed light on the timeless appeal of these magical stories, making this book a valuable resource for both scholars and casual readers alike.

Hartland takes a methodical approach to unravel the intricate web of fairy mythology, delving into its historical roots, psychological implications, and sociocultural contexts. From its early origins in folklore to its evolution into the beloved tales we know today, the author traces the development of fairy mythology across various cultures and time periods.

One of the strengths of this book lies in Hartland's ability to present complex concepts in an accessible manner. He seamlessly merges academic scholarship with engaging storytelling, ensuring that readers with different backgrounds can appreciate and comprehend the depth of his research. Hartland's writing style strikes a careful balance between being informative and entertaining, creating a dynamic reading experience that holds one's attention from beginning to end.

Furthermore, "The Science of Fairy Tales" offers valuable insights into the allegorical and symbolic nature of fairy tales. Hartland explores the underlying messages and moral lessons conveyed through these stories, often providing thought-provoking interpretations that challenge conventional understanding. Through his analysis, he highlights how fairy tales serve as mirrors of society, conveying cultural and societal norms, fears, and desires in a captivating and accessible manner.

The meticulously researched chapters of this book provide an in-depth exploration of various fairy tale motifs, such as enchantments, magical creatures, and hero journeys. Hartland examines the common themes that permeate different cultures, showcasing the universal human experiences and desires that these stories reflect. By doing so, he goes beyond the surface level of fairy tales, making a compelling case for their continued relevance in our modern world.

While "The Science of Fairy Tales" can be dense at times, particularly when delving into the nuances of different folklores, its meticulous attention to detail is commendable. Hartland's extensive use of primary sources, such as ancient texts and folklore collections, lends credibility to his research and strengthens his arguments.

In conclusion, "The Science of Fairy Tales: An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology" is a captivating and informative exploration of the origins and significance of fairy tales. Edwin Sidney Hartland's meticulous research and thought-provoking analysis offer a deeper understanding of these enchanting stories, highlighting their universal appeal and cultural relevance. This book is a must-read for both fairy tale enthusiasts and anyone interested in exploring the rich tapestry of human storytelling tradition.

First Page:








The chief object of this volume is to exhibit, in a manner acceptable to readers who are not specialists, the application of the principles and methods which guide investigations into popular traditions to a few of the most remarkable stories embodying the Fairy superstitions of the Celtic and Teutonic peoples. Some of the subjects discussed have already been dealt with by more competent inquirers. But even in these cases I have sometimes been able to supply additional illustrations of the conclusions previously arrived at, and occasionally, I hope, to carry the argument a step or two further than had been done before. I have thus tried to render the following pages not wholly valueless to students.

A portion of the book incorporates the substance of some articles which I contributed to "The Arch├Žological Review" and "Folk Lore." But these have been to a considerable extent re written; and it is hoped that in the process wider and more accurate generalizations have been attained.

My hearty thanks are due to the various friends whose generous assistance has been recorded in the footnotes, and especially to Professor Dr... Continue reading book >>

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