At last the sun has arrived in Wales so thought I would enjoy an afternoon reading in the garden and writing my Sunday Salon post under blue skies for once. Best laid plans etc etc – instead of peace and tranquility I spent most of the time trying to get the wi-fi connection to work.
Can Mantel do the double?
Once Upon a Time..
I’ve been reading about the origins of the fairy story today. I never realised that they date from seventeenth century France and were essentially oral stories told by peasants and were really aimed at adults. They didn’t become a literary form until the aristocracy took them up and began writing them as a form of entertainment. Initially they were felt inappropriate for children because they often contained bawdy or lewd elements but authors began realising they could be used for moral and didactic purposes and so rewrote them. By the twentieth century they were considered so important they were included on the schools curriculum in Britain. It seems fairy stories have gone through cycles of reinvention and rejuvenation – there are more than 1,000 versions of Cinderella alone. There is a fascinating collection of versions of the canonical stories at http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/storytime/index.html which has been developed by a former librarian. I also discovered today that the Wizard of Oz is really a critique of American society – when Dorothy returns from Oz it is to discover that the banks are ruining local farmers (sounds familiar!)