Naomi Price

Once Upon a Time

The Virago Book of Fairy Tales

By

Virago 224pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

 

Fairy tales are a curious genre of literature. Their origins float around in an unfathomable past ravelled up in one another like the tangled roots of water vegetation. Their contents are equally inextricable: ‘There was and there was not a time’, Angela Carter tells us, is the invariable opening of Armenian fairy tales – only marginally more equivocal than our own version – and indeed, both the history and the contents of fairy tales thrive on the mystique of their own elusiveness.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,