THE COMPLETE FAIRY TALES
A collection of Perrault’s fairy tales might not be a most obvious travelling companion to accompany you on your next sporting trip north. But wait, for in these tales of wit and humour there is much to like.
Just as the wilds of Scotland harbour drama and mystery, Perrault’s tales capture the myth and magic of the fairy tale, a form of story that has lasted for more than 400 years.
It is extraordinary to revisit stories so familiar from childhood and see within their bounds savagery, deceit and dire warnings about predators and even puberty. The hidden symbolism of Perrault’s tales is explained in the erudite introduction by Christopher Betts, who has translated the 1697 edition, the only complete translation in both verse and prose.
The fairy tale is a rite of passage. Read yours aloud, share it with a small or re-read these tales and wonder at the depth that Disney never did. By Charles Perrault Edited by Christopher Betts Oxford University Press, £15