Fairy tales

The genre fairy tales stems from the telling of stories in an oral tradition, a continuation of the myths about fairies and supernatural beings that have existed for centuries in the folklore of all cultures. The early fairy tale books were not originally written for children. A fairy tale in the mid-17th century was a wondrous tale told as a parlour game in a literary salon in France. These adult stories were transformed for children by shortening the story and simplifying the language. Beginning in the 1830s in Britain and America, to 1900, with the growth of the middle classes, the fairy tale came into its own for children. Fairy tales were published in attractively-illustrated editions to amuse and entertain children.

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