Feminist fairy-tale criticism needs to be revised to incorporate Victorian women authors such as Mary de Morgan, who used the fairy-tale genre to challenge pervasive cultural expectations for women in the nineteenth century. I analyze de Morgan’s fairy tale “The Seeds of Love” in conjunction with contemporary debates on the woman question. I argue that de Morgan used the fairy-tale genre to convey subversive ideas about femi- ninity and marriage, criticizing the patriarchal ideal of marriage as female destiny by revealing the expected happily-ever-after marital bliss to be a lie. De Morgan presents her readers with a realistic, rather than idealized, view of love and marriage, thereby antici- pating objections voiced by feminist fairy-tale critics almost a century later.
Wagner, Shandi Lynne. "Seeds of Subversion in Mary de Morgan’s “The Seeds of Love”." Marvels & Tales 29.2 (2015). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol29/iss2/5>.