For centuries fairy tales have been a powerful mode of passing cultural values onto our children, and for many these stories delight and haunt us from cradle to grave. But how have these stories become so powerful and why? Until now we have lacked a social history of the fairy tale to frame our understanding of the role it plays in our lives. With the publication of When Dreams Came True, Jack Zipes fills this gap and shifts his focus to the social and historical roots of the classical tales. With coverage of the most significant writers and their works in Europe and North America from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, When Dreams Came True is another important contribution by the master of fairy tales. From the French Charles Perrault to the American L. Frank Baum and the German Hermann Hesse, Zipes explores the way in which particular authors used the genre of the fairy tale to articulate their personal desires, political views and aesthetic preferences in their particular social context. At the core of this magical tour through the history of the fairy tale is Zipes' desire to elucidate the role that the fairy tale has assumed in the civilizing process--the way it imparts values, norms and aesthetic taste to children and adults. His journey takes us to the familiar and the exotic in the great classical tales by Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen and in such fascinating works as Pinocchio, The Thousand and One Nights, The Happy Prince and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Throughout, Zipes reveals the historical dimensions of the tales and demonstrates their continuing relevance in our lives today.