|About the Book|
Edit Riquet with the Tuft - review of a Perrault fairy tale that is mystifyingly not a Disney movie.When I was very young, my grandmother had a set of very small books with uncut pages. One of the books was an early edition of Charles Perraults fairy tales with hand-printed woodblock illustrations. Another was Grimms. Naturally I cut the pages and read the stories which were bloody and didnt always have nice endings. At least one of the ugly sisters tumbled into a well to be devoured by snakes in one version, in another they both get their eyes pecked out by birds and are cast out to live as blind beggars. The Little Mermaid, offered a choice between murdering the princes bride or committing suicide, chooses the latter. And poor Little Red Riding Hood didnt escape those big, bad teeth!These stories, before Disney got them, were wonderful. Children like blood and guts as much as they like marshmallows and cuddly bears, but today everything is sanitised for them. I wonder why - the policy has not decreased the amount of violence in the world by one jot.My grandmother, who not very pleased at my cutting the pages on these valuable books, gave them to me and for years they were stored in my attic along with the things-that-might-come-in-useful-one-day that we all have, inherited silver that needed endless polishing, cassettes from my dj-ing days and even my old teddy bear whod lost all his stuffing and had such a sad face.I had one particular tenant who stole a lot of valuable books. Hed also not been too honest with the rent, bouncing cheques, that kind of thing, and would cry PREJUDICE at everything. If I didnt like blacks why would I have rented my place to him? Or married one and had children, or live in the West Indies? Still, it probably got him out of a lot of situations where people were too uncomfortable to speak up and let him get away with shit. I wasnt intimidated though and eventually got the money he owed me and gave him notice to leave. He raided my attic, took the silver and also took with him some of my best Haitian paintings, a really rare banned book on Turkey, and these lovely little hand-printed childrens fairy tales. It made me very sad to lose them this way and I always wondered if I would come across them in an antique shop one day. But so far, no luck.