To be fair, I haven't finished reading it, it's part of my monthly book club reading so we are about 1/3 of the way through the book. It's well researched and insightful and really makes you think about the history of narrative and story telling, from a feminist perspective.
It is not an easy read. The author assumes the reader has knowledge that most laymen won't have. I am well read and well educated and I have to keep a notepad beside me to write down English words I don't know, French words the author throws in with no explanation, and names of historical figures and time periods that I do not know.
The book is not linear. That is to say, she doesn't start with the ancient world and move through history in a linear fashion. Each section of the book deals with a figure in narrative history, and explores that figure in all it's reincarnations. For example the first 9 chapters deal with the Sybils, the oracles from Ancient Greece, but she talks about them in Medieval times, Renaissance times, and Roman times all within each chapter.
For those interested in the subject of either storytelling or feminism, this is like a hearty feast that will take several courses and much chewing to get through, but but leaves you replete and satisfied at the end. For those that are looking for a quick, easy look into the history of fairy tales, this will leave you overfull and slightly head-achy. For you I might recommend "Clever Maids: The secret history of the Grimm Fairy tales."
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET; 1 edition (6 October 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099479516
- ISBN-13: 978-0099479512
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 662 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)