Fairy tales have been with us for a very long time.
Ever since humans invented language, we have used those sounds laden with meaning to create stories – to teach, to warn, to entertain, and to effect change upon the world.
Those stories have been handed down through many generations – changing with each retelling, but still carrying within them the same wisdom and transformative power that has helped shape the human psyche.
And there’s no sign of fairy tales falling out of favour any time soon. They are everywhere in popular culture, inspiring TV shows and art installations, poems and advertising campaigns, fashion shows and ballets and comics and, most successfully of all, films.
I have been fascinated with fairy tales ever since I was first given a red leather-bound copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales when I was just seven years old. Of all the stories of beauty and peril and adventure within its pages, it was the story of ‘Rapunzel’ that resonated with me most powerfully.
To understand why, I need to take you far back into my own childhood.