Even though the fairy tale may be the most important cultural and social event in most children’s lives, critics and scholars have failed to study its historical development as a genre. There are chapters on the fairy tale in histories of children’s literature, essays and even books on the fairy tale for adults, in-depth psychological explorations of the fairy tale’s effect on children, and structuralist and formalist studies of individual tales galore. But no history of the fairy tale for children, in particular, no social history. Just a gap.