The University of Wisconsin Press

Folklore and Mythology


Little Red Riding Hood
A Casebook
Edited by Alan Dundes

Alan Dundes continues his exploration of well-loved fairy tales with this casebook on one of the best-known of them all: Little Red Riding Hood.

Following versions of the tale by Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, the essays by an international group of scholars provide an impressive cross-section of theoretical approaches.

"Alan Dundes, the prominent psychoanalytical folklorist, offers another tour de force to entertain and educate the scholarly and the lay readership remembering their childhood fascination with bedtime stories. . . . He prefaces each [essay] with superbly informed, insightful, critical commentaries. At the end, Dundes summarizes the results of the interpretations he selected from an astoundingly rich literature, with a survey of Little Red Riding Hood scholarship and his own psychoanalytical decoding of the tale."—Linda Dégh, History of Education Quarterly

"This valuable volume admirably succeeds in its purpose of providing a wide range of historical and interpretive readings that illuminate this most popular of folktales from a number of perspectives. . . . The essays vary in content from several significant contemporary psychoanalytic and feminist critiques by Bruno Bettelheim, Jack Zipes, and Dundes himself to more fanciful pieces on the mythological interpretation of the tale. The book also provides a cross-cultural perspective, which includes the traditional folk-narrative approach of comparing tale variants and analyzing separate motifs for their sociomythical foundations, and a contemporary political analysis."—Choice

Alan Dundes (1934–2005), was professor of anthropology and folklore at the University of California, Berkeley, and published ten books with the University of Wisconsin Press,
including Oedipus, Folk Law, The Cockfight, The Wisdom of Many, The Evil Eye, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Blood Libel Legend. He is also the author of Parsing through Customs.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Gothic image of Little Red Riding Hood encountering the Big Bad Wolf in the woods.

June 1989
LC: 88-040431 GR
264 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Book icon
Paper $19.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-12034-4
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

"The collection is illuminating and entertaining and could well change one's attitude toward the little girl in the red cap."
—Steven Swann Jones, American Anthropologist

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated July 20, 2012

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System