Date of this Version
The Journal of American Folklore
Inspired by Ruth Bottigheimer's 2002 book, Fairy Godfather: Straparola, Venice, and the Fairy Tale Tradition, this article examines her proposition that the sixteenth-century Italian author Giovanni Francesco Straparola invented the "rise tale," in which a lowly hero or heroine climbs the socioeconomic ladder with the help of a magical benefactor. It investigates Bottigheimer's evidence for this claim as well as her argument that Straparola's literary invention was a projection of the emerging Italian middles class in the sixteenth century. Contrary to Bottigheimer's proposition, it is found that tales with similar form were told in classical Greece and in medieval Europe and that the belief in magical fairies was known in Europe long before Straparola's time.
Published as Ben-Amos, D. Straparola: The Revolution That Was Not. The Journal of American Folklore 123(490): 426-446. © 2010 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Ben-Amos, D. (2010). Straparola: The Revolution That Was Not. The Journal of American Folklore, 123 (490), 426-446. http://dx.doi.org/10.5406/jamerfolk.123.490.0426
Date Posted: 22 September 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.