chapter  2
16 Pages

The Origins of the Fairy Tale in Italy: Straparola and Basile

Although the French writers of the 1690s such as Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, Catherine Bernard, Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier, Henriette Julie de Murat, Charlotte-Rose de la Force, Jean de Mailly, Eustache Le Noble, and others were chiefly responsible for the establishment of the fairy tale as a literary genre in Europe, they were not as original as one would think, nor were they the innovators of the genre. In fact, the Italian writers Giovan Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile played a highly significant role in the rise of the literary fairy tale in Europe, and their tales had a profound influence on the French. This is one of the best kept secrets in the history of the fairy tale, and it is a secret that is well worth unlocking because it reveals just how closely tied the literary fairy tale as genre is to the spread of the civilizing process throughout Europe.