Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2012


The stories of three well-known princesses are told in Three Fairy Princesses, written by Caroline Patterson around 1890. These fairy tales—“Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Cinderella”—present subtle stereotypes that send distinct messages about what women meant to society at the time in terms of their roles and the ideas about gender. Each princess’s tale in this text offers a different view as to what a proper woman should be engaging in, which would ultimately reflect how these texts were understood when they debuted. Three Fairy Princesses has a lot to say about the type of gender stereotyping that was common in the 1890’s, which ultimately influenced the young children who read these stories.


A research paper completed for English 4710. This is an advanced undergraduate course focused on the study of a particular genre and its ability to articulate meaning in historical, social, and/or literary contexts. This paper is part of the Children's Literature genre series.