Exploring selected Grimm brothers' tales, Marina Warner examines how feminism has tackled them. From December 2012.
When the Grimm brothers first published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, in a scholarly effort to collate a national identity of the people, it was the beginning of an obsessive project of two intricately interwoven lifetimes.
To mark the bicentenary of the first edition, writer and mythographer Marina Warner explores the many compelling and often controversial aspects of the tales in a 10-part series, revealing new insights into the stories we think we know so well, and introducing us to the charms and challenges of those that we don't.
Alongside beautifully narrated extracts from the tales themselves, renowned academics and artists who work closely with the Grimm's rich heritage add to our understanding of these deceptively complex stories.
By exposing the role of fairy tales in the cultural struggle over gender, feminism transformed fairy-tale studies and sparked a debate that would change the way society thinks about the stories and the words "happily ever after". In the eighth episode, we speak to writer Helen Simpson about the presentation of the tales' female characters, and how their impact and influence still resonates today.
Producer: Kevin Dawson
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.
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