Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke

Fantasy is my (not so) secret (not so) guilty pleasure in reading. Fantasy introduced me to reading through The Hobbit and Tolkien. Fantasy was my escape from teenage tedium … my family was far too middle class to have angst! And I still enjoy a healthy dollop of fantasy, as readers of this blog will…

The Tiger’s Bride, Angela Carter

Continuing through The Bloody Chamber, we come upon The Tiger’s Bride, a second re-imagining of the Beauty and The Beast fairytale. Here, we are even further away from the traditional or Disneyfied incarnations of the story and it strikes the reader as a much darker tale than The Courtship of Mr Lyon with which it…

The Courtship of Mr Lyon, Angela Carter

Beauty and the Beast has to be one of my favourite fairy tales! Ever! It’s a deliciously evocative tale exploring the male and the female and, even in the Disney film version, Beauty is a strikingly self-assured and confidant woman. Carter’s version is very pared down: there is very little detail of anything except for…