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Book review: Gossip from the Forest, By Sara Maitland


Sara Maitland recounts how she spent a year visiting the wilder forests of England and Scotland in search of “the tangled roots” of northern European fairy tales.

Maitland explores both the fascinating “pseudo-history” of these ancient groves and the folkloric tales they inspired.

Interleaved in the author's unconventional narrative are some subversive re-tellings of favoured old chesnuts – Hansel and Gretel become middle-aged, Rumpelstiltskin tells his side of the story and Little Red Riding Hood is last seen in pink trainers.