Miss Silvia Storti

Research project: Brutes, Beasts, and Beauties: from the Victorian to the Contemporary, a study of three villains and their interpretations in fairy-tale narratives


My thesis explores retellings and adaptations of Charles Perrault's fairy tales (1697) in relation to contextual cultural changes, specifically what shifts these may have caused in the representation and reception of the villain characters. For decades, scholars have investigated the ways authors have revised and rewritten traditional fairy tales; my research focuses on fairy tale adaptations by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Angela Carter, and some more recent authors, in order to explore how the interpretation of the villains was and is influenced by its context. While there is much scholarship on post-modern fairy tales, a look at the villains within the adaptation's historical circumstances has been largely ignored by scholars, if not in subordination to the heroes of the tales. I aim to bring the villains in 'Bluebeard', 'Little Red Riding Hood', and 'Sleeping Beauty' to the forefront as worthy of analysis in their own right.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Brutes, Beasts, and Beauties: from the Victorian to the Contemporary, a study of three villains and their interpretations in fairy-tale narratives
  • Research supervisor: Professor Sara Upstone


I am currently a PhD student at Kingston University, London, where I previously obtained my BA in English Literature with Drama. I have always been interested in language and philology, aspects that led me to the study of folklore and fairy tales. I pursued my interests at the Universita degli Studi di Padova first, then at Kingston and subsequently at the University of Nottingham, where I completed my MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies. It is my greatest aspiration to work in HE, and as a whole, my research aims to bridge the gap between the study of fairy tales and medievalism, something I started to explore in my dissertation and plan to continue working on in the future. 

Areas of research interest

  • Fairy tales and their retellings, reworkings, and adaptations
  • Medievalism in conjunction with fairy-tale narratives
  • Language and etymology


  • BA in English Literature with Drama, Kingston University, London
  • MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies, University of Nottingham


Storti, Silvia E., 'The Better to Eat You With: The Anthropophagy Plots of Fairy Tales', in Champion, Giulia. Interdisciplinary Essays on Cannibalism: Bites Here and There (New York : Routledge, 2021).

Conference papers

Most recent:

  • A Dormant Tale: Fractured Femininity in Contemporary Retellings of "Sleeping Beauty" – presented at the Postgraduate Research Conference, Kingston University London, 14th May 2018
  • Scarto di Fiaba: Making a Case for the Forgotten Tales - presented at "Sc[Arti]: Riflessioni sul residuo tra selezione e divergenza", Università degli Studi di Milano, 7-9 November 2018
  • A (wo)man of genius: Anne Thackeray's social fairy tales - presented at ""Thanks for Typing": Wives, Daughters, Mothers, and Other Women", Oxford Centre for Life Writing, 8-9 March 2019
  • Terror is in the eye of the beholder: the horror of beauty in fairy tale narratives - presented at "Tales of Terror: Gothic, Horror, and Weird Short Fiction", University of Warwick, 21-22 March 2019
  • An Empire apart: Anne Thackeray's fairy tales and the decline of the British Empire - presented at "Folklore and the Nation", University of Derby, 29-31 March 2019