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Once Upon a time

28 November 2014


FAIRY stories used to be looked on as tales of innocence. Thanks largely to Dr Marina Warner, we now know that innocence is the last thing they teach. Her academic work on the genre is the background to Once Upon a Time: A short history of the fairy tale (Oxford, £10.99 (£9.90); 978-0-19-871865-9). She traces the folk traditions that fed into published works such as Histoires et Contes du temps passé by Charles Perrault (1697) and the works of the Grimm Brothers (1812-57), bringing the history up to date with a critical look at films such as Maleficent and Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (with a vampire's bite rather than a kiss). PH

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