Charlotte Higgins reflects on the significance of mazes and labyrinths in art and mythology, in literature and in life.
Author and journalist Charlotte Higgins explores our ancient fascination with mazes and labyrinths, and reflects on their significance - in art and in mythology, in literature and in life.
In this final reading from her new book Higgins turns her attention from man-made mazes and discusses the magical properties of some mazes made by nature (but featured in art) - from the dark, impenetrable forests of the Grimms' fairy tales, to the snow-bowed pines of C.S. Lewis's Narnia, to the haunting and mysterious moonlit woods of Paolo Uccello's fifteenth-century painting The Hunt in the Forest* at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, "the first picture I dared to try to write about."
There are also some powerfully evocative childhood memories of a farm near her family home in Staffordshire, and the woods beside it which stretched down to the motorway that cut through the valley: "I loved those woods, but they frightened me. Whenever I went into them I could feel them closing in. The freedom of the fields and the low, rolling hills would be lost. The sky would disappear..."
Red Thread is written and read by Charlotte Higgins.
The book is abridged and produced by David Jackson Young.
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