The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, By Angela Carter

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The Independent Culture

Angela Carter's groundbreaking collection of feminist fairy tales, The Bloody Chamber and other Stories (1979), followed three years on from her translation of Charles Perrault, a lawyer at the court of Louis XIV.

While her own stories stood the genre on its head, her translation made his tales rather more subversive than intended: in "Cinderella", a powerful patron proves more useful than beauty; in "Bluebeard", a wife outwits her murderous husband.

Jack Zipes's illuminating preface introduces her radical work to a new audience. He describes a writer who amazed Margaret Atwood not only by looking "so much like the Fairy Godmother" but by being so much like the Fairy Godmother.

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