The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Fairy Tales

Alexandra Tuttosi | Team Member

Alexandra Tuttosi | Team Member

The public library hosted an event where an English PhD student named Alauna Brown, presented her thesis in a fun and unique way. The two names of fairy tales that she looked at during her research were: “The Three Faries” and “The Two Cakes” by Giambattista Basile, “The Enchantments of Eloquence” and “The Effects of Sweetness” by Marie-Jeanne L’Heritier, and “The Fairies” by Charles Perrault.

All of the fairy tales were written during the seventeenth century; one in Italy, one in France, and the other in England. The general storyline contains: bad girl has everything in the beginning of the story, then is punished at the end, and the good girl works hard all of her life but still suffers and by the end she gets rewarded.

When asked why she chose this specific topic, Alauna Brown said she was listening to CBC radio one day and a woman, who studies fairy tales, was talking about her work. This inspired Alauna to pursue this topic during her English studies. She also said that as a child “Ella Enchanted” was her favourite novel. This love for feminist fairy tales allowed Alauna to narrow her focus and do what she never thought was possible: study fairy tales.