The useful dangers of fairy tales: because sometimes the wolf shows up uninvited by Amber Sparks
This article has been published on the Literary Hub website. It begins:
Someday, my daughter will ask me why there are so few mothers in fairy tales.
Or rather, why there are so few living mothers. Mothers are nowhere and everywhere in these tales: made dead or spirit, found in inner voices or fairy godmothers, transformed into wild or wise beasts. Women told many of these stories themselves, to share with their own daughters. Why write so many stories where you only get to play the ghost?
It’s a complicated question that deserves a complicated answer, but the gist is this: I suspect that the mothers were preparing their daughters for a life without them.