Wicked stepmothers and beautiful princesses ... magic forests and enchanted towers ... little pigs and big bad wolves ... Fairy tales have been an integral part of childhood for hundreds of years. But what do they really mean? In this award-winning work of criticism, renowned psychoanalyst Dr Bruno Bettelheim presents a thought provoking and stimulating exploration of the best-known fairy stories. He reveals the true content of the stories and shows how children can use them to cope with their baffling emotions and anxieties.
Bettelheim argues convincingly that fairy tales provide a unique way for children to come to terms with the dilemmas of their inner lives. -- The Atlantic A charming book about enchantment, a profound book about fairy tales. --John Updike, The New York Times Book Review A splendid achievement, brimming with useful ideas, with insights into how young children read and understand, and most of all overflowing with a realistic optimism and with an experienced and therapeutic good will. --Harold Bloom, The New York Review of Books Provocative and persuasive. -- Boston Globe