The Legacy of the Goddess

Heroines, Warriors and Witches from World Mythology to Folktales and Fairy Tales


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About the Book

It is commonly assumed that the female characters found in popular folk and fairy tales are little more than inconsequential stereotypes—mostly serving as hapless victims in need of rescue, boring one-dimensional princesses, or egotistical and conniving villains. This book presents more fully-realized portraits of these female characters, revealing the ways in which they actually represent bold and powerful connections to the goddesses of classic mythic narratives.
The rich legacy of female goddesses, shamans, queens, and priestesses is in fact preserved and celebrated through these more modern representations, whether as brides who can transform into animals, wise old women who live alone in the deep wilderness, strong warrior maidens, or witches who can conquer and command the elements of nature. In contemplating this revised analysis of female characters within global folktales and fairy tales, audiences can see that the goddesses of old have never truly been forgotten.

About the Author(s)

Rachel S. McCoppin is a professor of literature at the University of Minnesota Crookston. She has published in the areas of mythology, comparative literature, and multicultural pedagogy in scholarly books and journals.

Bibliographic Details

Rachel S. McCoppin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9095-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4934-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Mother Nature, Animal Brides, and Mistresses of Animals 11
2. Wise Old Women 39
3. Maidens and Otherworldly Women 69
4. Monstrous and Ghost Women 97
5. Defiant Women and Women Warriors 126
6. Heroines on Their Own Quests 155
7. Mothers and Stepmothers 183
8. Witches 211
Conclusion 243
Bibliography 247
Index 253