Random Fact: Fairy Tales

The Oxford English Dictionary dates the expression “fairy tale” back to 1635 and “fairy story” slightly later. It was the French writer Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy who popularised the term with her “Les Contes des Fées” (fairy tales) in 1697. However, the opening words “Once upon a time” are even older, dating back to Chaucer in the 14th century.

Many of today’s most popular fairy stories appear in Charles Perrault’s connection in 1695, with the popularity of fairy tales boosted by Grimms’ Children’s And Household Tales in 1812. In general, both Perrault’s and Grimms’ fables were more violent and gruesome than our versions; Perrault has the wolf eat Red Riding Hood while the Grimms have Snow White’s jealous mother planning to cook and eat her lungs and liver.

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