Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers

Front Cover
Nina Auerbach, U. C. Knoepflmacher
University of Chicago Press, Dec 10, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 382 pages
This “darkly entertaining” story collection is “a significant contribution to nineteenth-century cultural history, and especially feminist studies" (United Press International).
In the 1870s and 1880s, children’s literature saw some astonishingly bold and innovative writing by women authors. As these eleven dark and wild stories demonstrate, fairy tales by Victorian women constitute a distinct literary tradition, one that was startlingly subversive for its time. While writers such as Lewis Carroll and J.M. Barrie wrote nostalgic tales that pined for lost youth, their female counterparts had more serious—at times unsettling—concerns. 
From Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s adaptations of "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" to Christina Rossetti’s unsettling anti-fantasies in Speaking Likenesses, the stories collected here are breathtaking acts of imaginative freedom, by turns amusing, charming, and disturbing. Besides their social and historical implications, they are extraordinary works of fiction, full of strange delights for readers of any age.

"The editors’ intelligent and fascinating commentary reveals ways in which these stories defied the Victorian patriarchy."—Allyson F. McGill, Belles Lettres 

What people are saying - Write a review

Forbidden journeys: fairy tales and fantasies by Victorian women writers

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A handful of women, writing ca. 1867-79, used the plot of a girl's journey to forbidding places as a vehicle to expand the genre of children's literature into some unexpected emotional areas. Jean ... Read full review


Refashioning Fairy Tales
A Fantasy Novel
A Trio of Antifantasies
Biographical Sketches
Further Readings

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Nina Auerbach is professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. U. C. Knoepflmacher is professor of English at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information