Feminist criticism has done much to enhance the visibility of seventeenth-century French fairy tales, especially those written by women. If feminist critics agree on the subversiveness of the women’s contes de fées, they tend to differ on how to account for the ideological ambiguities of this corpus. This essay considers contrasting interpretations of three such ambiguities in the feminist-inspired books of Patricia Hannon (Fabulous Identities, 1998) and Lewis Seifert (Fairy Tales, Sexuality, and Gender in France, 1996). The representation of personal autonomy, nostalgia, and the marriage closure reveal the historical and textual complexity of the seventeenth-century French women’s fairy tales. To continue to be productive, feminist approaches must account for this complexity.
Seifert, Lewis C.. "On Fairy Tales, Subversion, and Ambiguity: Feminist Approaches to Seventeenth-Century Contes de fées." Marvels & Tales 14.1 (2000). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol14/iss1/3>.